I hate it here

My son has a peanut allergy, along with a handful of other other allergies, and while we’ve never had any sort of medical emergency related to his allergies we have always kept EpiPens on hand, both in the house and at school. He’s going back to school next week so we needed another one.

They wanted four hundred and fifty dollars for a pair of EpiPens, and the ones they had on hand had expiration dates in December.

Four hundred and fifty fucking dollars for something that, if you don’t have it on hand when you need it, you’re very likely to die. $100 more than the last time we ordered them, and the last time we ordered them they were also obscenely expensive.

Go ahead. Ask if we have insurance.

SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOT SHOT SHOTS

I’m not going to bullshit around about this: I am giving explicit credit for what happened today to the Biden administration. This would not have happened had we not removed That Man from the White House in November. This is mostly going to be a post where I’m complaining! But spoiler alert: at the end of it I get a Covid shot.

On March 2nd– two days ago– the Biden administration issued a formal directive that all states were to begin prioritizing getting Covid vaccines to teachers. Many states already had teachers classed as essential workers and were already vaccinating us. Indiana? Nah, not so much. I will not stop saying this until it stops being true: Indiana doesn’t give a shit about education, and definitely doesn’t give a shit about teachers. The state wants us young, cheap and disposable and frankly I think it would be just fine with them if a few of the more highly-paid among us died to this thing before the vaccines went out.

Who the merry hell knows how long I’d have had to wait if not for that.

So yesterday I had, as I mentioned, a fairly busy and productive day, and somehow made it through the entire day of work without even once glancing at Facebook. If I had, I might have learned that somehow a nearby Meijer pharmacy was having a pretty major teacher vaccine clinic, one that they had notified every local school district about– and that our district had not told us about. A few teachers from my district found out anyway, because it’s not like we don’t know each other, but by the time I found out about it, the shots were gone. To add insult to injury, I’d also signed up for alerts from Meijer when vaccine was available– and Meijer knew I was a teacher. But I’d heard nothing. None of my friends had told me anything either, which had me good and pissed at the time but if you’re reading this don’t worry about it, I’m over it.

I spent a good chunk of last night fucking around on various state and federal websites trying to figure out where the hell I could find myself a shot, feeling not unlike the way I did when trying to track down a PS5, right down to one website that would let me schedule a first shot at one location but then immediately insisted that I also schedule the second shot, but then it wouldn’t let me actually do that. Anywhere.

Right around 8:00 PM, we found out that my district was doing their own vaccine clinic today, during the school day, and asking the principals to provide flexibility as their teachers … uh, left work in the middle of the day or whenever to go get their shots. On, effectively, no notice whatsoever. Now, I’d gotten lucky here, because I’m already at home, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone covering me who wasn’t going to be doing it already. But there’s my son to be thinking about, and we had to scramble a bit to make sure my wife would be able to be home while I was off getting my shot.

(How little notice was there in putting this together? I heard tell that one of the local high schools basically gave up, herded all of their students into the auditorium and told all of their teachers to get gone and get back as quickly as possible. We don’t ever have students on Wednesdays and next Friday is a teacher record day. This was absolutely a panicked reaction to whoever dropped the ball in forgetting to tell us about the clinic yesterday, which was … also during the Goddamned school day.)

I got there half an hour before the place was supposed to be open, and had a shot in my arm and was leaving two minutes after the place was supposed to have opened. So once I got there, everything was moving super smoothly and quickly. I was, I dunno, maybe the 10th person to get my shot? And they’re going to do the exact same thing again in three weeks for the second shot, which means that in three weeks and one day every teacher in South Bend will call in sick, because the side effects will be hitting us all of us at once. Which’ll be fun.

Speaking of: I got the Pfizer vaccine (apparently part of this is that these vaccines were federally purchased, meaning that what the Biden team actually did with this directive was told the states that they were gonna decide what to do with their vaccines, and the states could pound sand if they didn’t like it) and so far my arm kinda hurts (not a big deal) and I took a real short nap this afternoon, which could have been ordinary Thursday Tired and could in theory have been Vaccine Fatigue. Nothing that actually counts as being remotely debilitating, though.

Funny what a difference it makes, when we elect people who believe that government is capable of actually accomplishing things.

Anyway, it’s running through your head so you may as well enjoy the song:

What was the reason???

It’s not just that this smarmy, slimy little weasel is a liar, it’s that he’s so unbelievably bad at it. I liked politicians more when they went to at least a little trouble to make sure their lies were a tiny bit credible, but this motherfucker just says whatever the hell comes to mind, and he lies like a middle schooler whose mother caught him with his pants around his ankles and porn on his monitor. It’s all panic and trying to hide your dick, any shred of reasonable thought out the window, and little man, we’ve seen that before and we’re not any more impressed by it now than we ever were.

In case you haven’t been following the news today (or you’re me, looking at this post in a year,) Texas is currently going through absolute hell. The entire state is covered in snow and in a deep freeze and huge power outages, caused by the state’s inefficient, out-of-date and unregulated power grid, have led to people literally freezing to death in their homes. In, again, Texas.

And this motherfucker didn’t think it would be a problem if he and his family fucked off to Cancun for a week in the middle of all this shit, rather than, I dunno, trying to do something to help. I mean, he’s a Senator, even though no one can figure out why. Senators have some influence in how governments allocate money, I’ve heard. But nah. Off to fucking Cancun, where they sure as fucking hell don’t want Ted Cruz around right now.

Oh, and the pandemic hasn’t gone anywhere, either, and he’s already had coronavirus once so you’d think he would know better, but nah.

And do you know what he did when he got caught? He tried to blame the entire thing on his daughters, who are ten and twelve years old, claiming that they’d asked him to take a trip to Mexico and, well, we definitely let sixth-graders decide to make us take international trips in the middle of multiple overlapping enormous crises, right? That’s a thing people do. He also lied about whether his house had power, and the real bullshit here is that I know that he lied but I don’t know what the truth is, because in the last 24 hours he’s both claimed that he had power and that he didn’t.

The real bullshit of all this is nobody would have thought twice had he gotten his family out of town, so long as they stayed in the States. It literally wouldn’t even have registered. But nah; we’ve gotta fuck off to Mexico, and then pretend it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and blame it on our minor children, because that doesn’t make it look like all of your possessions need to be confiscated and redistributed to better people, and then we’ve got to pretend that returning after less than a day was the plan all along, ignoring that people can figure out that you bought a new ticket this morning. It’s all painful, stupid, obvious lying, and lying about something that could have been completely avoidable had they just stayed in America.

He’s gotta go. I don’t care if he gets recalled, or if he resigns, or if someone carefully places him in a glass jar and puts that glass jar on a shelf somewhere for eternity, or if he’s simply allowed to slither back into the ocean from whence he came. But I can’t hear anything else about this spineless little traitor ever again. I’m tired of him and he needs to go the fuck away, so that his family can abandon him and he can die alone in a cheap motel room in a couple of years. Fucking enough.

Rush Limbaugh is dead. Good.

I remember the day I figured out I was a liberal.

Well, okay, that’s not quite accurate. I remember the feeling of figuring out I was a liberal. And it was a deeply strange thing to figure out about oneself at the time, because everything I knew about “liberals” was that they were terrible. I’m fairly certain I made it to high school if not further before I ever heard that word used in anything other than a derogatory sense, and the idea that liberals were some unspecified sort of awful was literally all I knew about them before figuring out that I was one. And my family was not conservative! I’m farther to the left than either of my parents, I think, although my mother was getting more radicalized by the hour during That Person’s administration, but I definitely did not grow up in an environment where being “liberal” was demonized. No, I have wider society to blame for that.

And, specifically, I lay a healthy share of it at Rush Limbaugh’s feet. George H.W. Bush, too, mind you; Limbaugh’s far from alone in that regard. And frankly the timeline for this realization was probably right around Bush I’s inauguration and hell if I remember when I heard Limbaugh’s name for the first time, but it was probably right around then. And he and a whole bunch of other people were spreading the idea that me and other people who thought like me were traitors. Morons. Evil.

Well, now he’s dead and I’m not. Fuck him.

I don’t believe in Hell but I’m willing to make the occasional exception, and I absolutely refuse to feel even slightly bad about dancing on this human shitstain’s grave. We should not feel bad about being happy when absolutely terrible people die, and Rush Limbaugh for all of his lengthy and wealthy life has absolutely nothing remotely positive to show for it. He’s never helped a single person in his entire miserable life; he’s done nothing but spread hate and misery and pain for his entire existence. I remember him comparing Chelsea Clinton, four years younger than me, to the family dog. I remember the little segment where he’d read the names of people– ordinary fucking regular people who he’d never met and never did anything to him– who died from AIDS and celebrating their deaths on his show. I remember the racism and the sexism and the pure, unfiltered assholery that was this man’s entire personality and has come to become, in the years since, the entire political philosophy of his entire political party. If I were to pick two figures from the eighties and nineties who were responsible for the fascist cesspool the Republican Party has become, they would be Rush and Newt Gingrich, and you can be damn sure that when Gingrich goes I’ll have something to say about that too.

(Fun fact: my senior year of high school I won Future Rush Limbaugh, an award that was given to one male and one female student. She won the award because she was a conservative. I won because I was fat, outspoken, and political. I did not contest the award.)

He was talented, there’s no doubt about that. He could have done good things with his life. He could have helped people. He didn’t. He chose what he became, and he chose to stay what he was, and he chose to continue being what he was every day of his wasted life. Fuck him, and may his type never grace our airwaves ever again. May his name be forgotten.

In which that was fun

I dunno if you’ve been following this GameStop thing or not.

I decided to start fucking around with the stock market a couple of weeks ago, partially out of boredom and partially because I actually do have a small amount of discretionary income right now and who knows it’s not impossible that I’ll live long enough to consider retirement. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not dumb enough to believe that dropping $25 a week into stocks is going to magically make me rich or anything, but getting my feet wet and gaining a basic understanding of how this shit works seemed like a good idea.

And … well. Then the GameStop thing happened. Well, is still happening, technically. I think. An explanation, if you haven’t been following this: Reddit discovered that a particular hedge fund held (don’t ask me how this is possible, it’s on the long list of things I don’t understand) more short sales in GameStop than there were actual shares available for the company. A short sale is when you borrow a stock at a certain price, sell them at that price, wait for the price to drop, then buy them and return the shares you bought to the entity you borrowed the shares you sold from. Since you bought them at a lower price than you sold them at, you make money. If this seems somewhat counterintuitive and also a little unethical to be making money off of some other company doing poorly, that means you understand the process correctly.

So Reddit started buying up shares of GameStop. Lots and lots of shares of GameStop. To the point where it was trading at like $4 a share earlier this year and earlier today was up to $500 a share. In the process they blew up that hedge fund, which apparently has gone bankrupt, so it’s good news for everyone.

I went ahead and got in for $100 when the stock was at around $270. This morning when I woke up and it was damn near $500, so if I’d sold instantly I’d have made about seventy bucks. (To be clear, other people have made millions in the last few days.)

I did not sell instantly, and by the time I got out of the shower this morning the app that nearly all of these folks have been using to buy up the stock had decided that they were not only not going to allow further buying of GameStop stock, they even disabled looking it up, making it impossible to do anything but sell. In the course of a ten-minute shower, the value of the stock plummeted nearly a hundred and fifty dollars a share. As of right now, according to the Stocks app on my computer, it’s down to $132.

There’s been lots of dark muttering lately about how what the Redditors did (and those of us who aren’t Redditors but heard about it) should be illegal, because … reasons, and I’m unclear as to what those are, since this is literally some folks on a message board who decided to act as a group. I have heard no dark muttering about how what Robinhood, the app in question, did ought to be illegal, and I feel like arbitrarily deciding it’s okay for them to cause small investors to lose money is okay while small investors causing big hedge funds to blow up is … well, sadly typical is probably how I think that feels, actually.

One way or another, I’ve closed everything out with that app. I ended up breaking about even on GameStop, selling at the wrong time to make money but the right time to avoid losing any, and ended up making maybe $15 over the course of those two weeks. I feel like– and this is no surprise– unless I want to make this a Big Hobby, I’m almost certainly better off putting more money into the withdrawals my job already takes and ignoring that money, because I was spending way too much time watching the rich folks feelings charts tick up and down over the last few weeks. I haven’t been stressing about it, but it’s occupied more of my attention than I need it to.

I will enjoy watching those same Redditors burn Robinhood to the ground over the next few weeks, though.