Author: Ellen

Instead of boring my friends with my need to catalog my life through music, I'm putting it here.

Psycho Killer

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Do you realize that we are not even a week out from the first presidential debate? What the fuck. What the Fuck?! In those handful of days, Trump tested positive for COVID, went to the hospital, had a kitchen sink of drugs injected into him, had doctor’s lie about the timeline of his illness, went for a joyride to visit his “fans” lining the streets outside the hospital, and then demanded he be released. There is a psycho killer in the White House, no way around it. How else can you describe an evil, narcissistic, fascist, hopped up on steroids, while infected and contagious with a deadly virus, leaving the hospital and returning to cough and breathe all over every surface and everyone in the building?

That would be bad enough but first he tweets to all his cult members, “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life.” Fantastic. It wasn’t hard enough to deal with all of the anti-maskers before, it’s going to be impossible now. More assholes with guns will show up on capitol steps demanding to be allowed to infect their neighbors because Dear Leader told them not to be weak and believe in science. Own the libs. Catch a deadly virus and extend the damage that’s already been done.

I’ve lost count how many people in his administration and other high ranking GOP members now have tested positive for the coronavirus. That superspreader event to celebrate their Supreme Court coup is like a cruise ship in February. I just can’t imagine being so arrogant as to think that there’s no chance you might catch it and to just roll the dice and forego any safety precautions that most of the nation has been living with for over half a year now. 210,000 people have died and millions more have been sick, some with debilitating, lingering health problems, but no, it won’t possibly touch me. I’ll just sit here next to these people who have been god knows where and with whom, not wear a mask, watch as people hug and touch each other, touch their noses and then hug some more. Let’s celebrate the impending decision to strip health insurance away from millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions during a pandemic. Couldn’t happen to us. Cheers!

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

Every single one of those adults at the ceremony deserves what they get. Same with the people at the golf club fundraiser. No, they didn’t know he had the virus, but they knew they were spending $250,000 to hang out with a lying con man who knew from the beginning how contagious and deadly this disease is, yet deliberately sought to downplay it’s severity and deprive the nation of information and medical supplies. I saw this great Twitter thread that summed up this moral failing, “Finding a non-white supremacist reason to support a white supremacist still aligns you with white supremacy. Finding a non-authoritarian reason to support an authoritarian still aligns you with authoritarianism.” to which I would add, finding a non-science denying reason to support a science denier gives you COVID. 

It’s all so bizarre that I can see how people are inclined to believe the whole thing has been staged. His breathing looked really labored on the balcony of the White House though. Time will tell. 

Youth Against Fascism

Sonic Youth – Youth Against Fascism

Welp, these are some pretty fucked up times we find ourselves in, friends. Staring down an election that should be a slam dunk but Cheeto is causing chaos left and right, not to mention there’s a global pandemic and we’re trying to stave off another theocratic fascist from taking the seat of the most beloved supreme court justice of all time. Meanwhile the planet is burning, cops are still killing unarmed black people at an alarming rate and facing zero consequences, and millions of people are unemployed.

Not like I need to summarize for anyone reading here today, but I like to look back and remember just what kind of crazy shit was going on. I have toughed my way through several years of November NaBloPoMos and while I mostly can go back and figure out, or remember, what the details were of the issue of the day, it isn’t always obvious. Muddying the memories are things like this song, eerily as appropriate in 2020 as 1992!

The past six months have been unbelievable and at the same time, not a surprise at all. No, I didn’t see a pandemic coming but if one was going to hit while Twitler was in office, then you knew it was going to be an utter disaster. I really hoped RBG could have held out until 2021 but was anyone besides maybe Susan Collins surprised to see old Turtleface change the rule he created about having hearings for an open SCOTUS seat during an election year? The man has no scruples whatsoever and nothing would make me happier than for him to lose, and lose big. I don’t think it will happen but if ever someone deserved his comeuppance, it’s him.

A week ago I put out a Biden/Harris sign in the yard, along with one for a local candidate. This is not the ticket I dreamed about but if we are to have a constitutional republic rather than an autocratic dictatorship, this is no time to be picky. By the end of the week, two of my neighbors had followed suit, then another couple of signs popped up down the street. There is strength in numbers. I encourage you to declare your support. Maybe you’re in more hostile territory than I am but I guarantee someone will pass your house and feel just a little bit better knowing they’re not alone.

My Problem

Say Sue Me – My Problem

In an effort to not make myself too depressed and anxious about only having two problematic old white guys left in the primary race, I decided to shift my attention to preparing to quarantine my family for two weeks if we are told we have to do that. Because that’s not paranoid or stressful.

I’m not actually that concerned about getting the coronavirus, but the way things are playing out, it seems entirely possible that someone in my house will have found themselves at the same place as an infected person and then we’ll all have to stay in our house for two weeks, even if you never get sick yourself. And then if you do get sick, you’ll be stuck there even longer.

Usually I do a big grocery store trip on Sunday to get the basics for the coming week, my husband will fill in during the week if we need something in between, but there isn’t really room to stash a lot of stuff. There are no real closets in the house and while we do have cupboards in the kitchen, space is limited and storage is at a premium. I just haven’t been in the habit of buying in bulk because I don’t have a place to put 20 rolls of paper towels, and I don’t usually buy a lot of things in cans so the appeal of the big discount stores, Costco, BJs, has been lost on me.

I figured if I just make a point to buy two or three extras of things I normally buy, then put those in a separate spot from the food we eat on a regular basis, that could be our reserve for the end times. However, while I was out shopping, I saw an update that made me think, hmm, I’m not sure there’s going to be enough time for the slow acquisition of enough food to last us for two whole weeks. What if my husband or I come home from work tomorrow and one of us has been told to “self-isolate” there won’t be time to go shopping.

So after getting four pounds of pasta and several cans of beans and tomatoes of different kinds, 12 rolls of toilet paper, 6 rolls of paper towels, cheese for several pizzas, and a few other oddities at Aldi, I then went to our regular grocery store for the usual stuff. I’m cruising the aisles and the in-store ad comes on the loudspeaker, “It’s cold and flu season! And with the coronavirus spreading, make sure you’re prepared with all the cleaning supplies you need to keep your home safe. On sale in aisle 3!” Then I turned the corner and saw someone coughing half-heartedly into their hand, so I made a bee-line for aisle 3. Also in aisle 3? More toilet paper. I didn’t understand the run on toilet paper at first but then someone at work said, “Well, there’s really no substitute for it so you don’t want to run out.” Especially if you’re living off canned beans for two weeks.

I bought more pasta, some milk that’s been ultra heated or something and has a date of April 5, and as many bags of frozen vegetables as I thought I could fit in my freezer. I really hope we don’t lose power for any reason or that will be a huge waste. 5 pounds of potatoes, I’m not sure why. I just thought we’d get tired of rice and pasta, and if we did get sick, I’d probably want to make vegetable soup and then I’d want some potatoes. I also bought four cans of vegetable soup. It won’t go bad. Two boxes of Bisquick, because if we’re all home together, my son is going to want pancakes and I could make biscuits if we run out of bread.

Two weeks seems simultaneously not that long and a really fucking long time. It’s only 14 dinners, that’s not too bad. But not leaving the house for 14 days straight? I think my muscles will start to atrophy. And what if part way through the two weeks, my daughter’s college sends everyone home? How would we get her? And then would we reset the two week clock? I didn’t buy food for four people, I bought for three.

I do, however, now have 44 rolls of toilet paper.

I discovered Say Sue Me from some Instagram videos of their shows back in December. Luckily they finished their tour of the US before heading back to South Korea because they’re really stuck there now.

I Was Home

Sunflower Bean – I Was Home

I should be en route to the Sunflower Bean show/beer tasting that I excitedly bought a ticket for a couple of months ago. But instead I am home, doing nothing.

Not that I need an excuse but I have a few. 1) It’s actually over an hour away. That’s a lot of driving there and back. 2) I had some small cysts removed on Friday and while it was a very simple in office procedure, it actually was surgery and it hurts more than I thought it would (sorry for the TMI). 3) The friend I was going to meet up with texted me that she was thinking of bailing. She lives five minutes from the venue so if she wasn’t up for it, I feel less obliged. 4) It was only $15.

It bums me out because I just feel old and like a loser but I also felt like I’d feel even older at the show, standing there with a sore back and not enjoying it as much as I could and what if people bumped into me where the incision was, blah, blah, blah. Getting older sucks.

If I lived five minutes away I would have rolled on over there at 9 and seen what was what. I could easily have done an hour, maybe a little more. But basically four hours? Sadly not tonight. Hopefully Sunflower Bean comes back through in the warmer weather and I will be more up for it. I haven’t been to a show since September and I miss it.

Love, Love Alone

The Jody Grind – Love, Love Alone

Shout out to Prince Harry. Upholding family tradition by saying, take your royal protocol and shove it. He was never going to be crowned king anyway so what’s the fuss?

I was delighted to see the great Kelly Hogan, who I had only known as the singer of The Jody Grind, as part of Neko Case’s band when I saw her just about two years ago. Such gorgeous harmonies. She also helped transport the practice organ of the former Chicago White Sox organist (along with Max Crawford, from Poi Dog Pondering, who also works at Wrigley Field) from Chicago to Boston where Josh Kantor, who plays with the Baseball Project, lives. He plays the organ for the Red Sox (as well as a day job at Harvard), and that’s about the sum total of my baseball knowledge. In fact my knowledge about how all those musicians intersect is much more impressive than any baseball fact I might know. (Article linked above written by Annie Zaleski, who wrote the liner notes for the 25th anniversary reissue of Out of Time. Just to tie it all up with a bow.)

Wikipedia tells me that Kelly Hogan has been working for the cartoonist Lynda Barry since 2013, arranging her teaching schedule, etc. How many more of my favorite people can I cram into this post?

Coolest of the cool.

White Knuckle Ride

Jamiroquai – White Knuckle Ride

Tomorrow we are expecting snow, sleet, freezing rain, back to snow, etc. It isn’t supposed to start until noon or later so I am planning to be up early so I can drive my daughter back to college. If we leave early enough I should be able to just make it up and back before it starts.

My current car is an automatic and I always feel like I’m not as sure-footed (-wheeled) when driving in the the snow because I can’t really downshift. I know I can put it down to 3, 2, and low, but the car doesn’t like it when I do that.

Anyway, wish me luck tomorrow that it doesn’t become a white knuckle ride!


Louise Burns – Storms

Just as I was getting dinner started tonight there was a huge, house-rattling boom. They’ve been doing road work around our neighborhood and at first I thought it was one of the giant diggers but then I realized it was thunder. A few minutes later some lightning and another loud boom. Surprising for November 27.