In which we’re gonna need a bigger boat

I’ll get to the graphic in a minute; this is gonna be another grab-baggy sort of post. Bear with me.

I just finished mowing the back yard, just in time for it to start pouring outside, so I’m sure all the grass will be regrown in a day or two. I have shared my distaste for lawn work many times before; in fact, bitching about my lawn was one of my first posts around here. My wife, who is more fond of working outdoors than I am, generally handles it; my job is to remove snow, and we collaborate on leaves. You may recall that she broke her foot a couple of weeks ago, which coincided with the weather being nice enough that the grass came back to life; to her credit, she waited for me to figure it out myself that I was going to have to mow the fucking yard and didn’t bring it up until I’d ruined my own day. Having mowed the full mess over the last two days, I have realized something: I feel basically the same way about yard work as I do about writing fiction. I absolutely hate doing it, but the feeling of being done with it is absolutely stellar. I love looking at a freshly-mowed yard. I just don’t want to have to create the conditions to be able to do that. If I ever figure out how to enjoy writing as much as I enjoy being done with writing I will be at Seanan McGuire levels of productivity in six months.


Speaking of mowing: I don’t wear headphones all that often, so it was already kind of weird that I shelled out so much money for the AirPods Pro that I bought a bit ago– but holy shit, am I impressed by how good noise cancelling works. I wasn’t even listening to music for a good part of mowing the yard; I just had the headphones in with the noise cancelling on and I could barely hear anything. Cue someone hopping into comments to tell me that’s going to kill my ears, of course.


Regarding yesterday’s addendum to yesterday’s first post: I think, based on comments, that it is clear that 1) I don’t know anything about Great Britain or their money; and 2) It is absolutely the way people write about their money that is bullshit, thus Option Two wins. I don’t feel like it is unreasonable to suggest that if you are going to spend a fair amount of your time in a book talking about people’s income levels and how much things cost, and the people you are talking about use a monetary system that is no longer in use and is not exactly intuitive, maybe put a chart somewhere explaining how it works? I’m willing to be accused of shocking ignorance on this, that’s fine, there are lots of things I don’t know, but part of the reason I was able to not realize that the shilling got phased out however many years ago was that nobody ever explains what the fuck a shilling is in history books. They just assume you know there are 3.2 shillings in a Cumberbatch and move the fuck on with the narrative. Put a damn chart in there somewhere!


The feasibility study has been returned, and it turns out I’m not actually able to watch the Snowpiercer TV series without spending additional money. I had heard it was showing up on Hulu, but apparently that’s only true if you pony up for some sort of “Live TV” add-on, and … nah.

I will, nonetheless, bow to the will of the interwebs and watch this program as soon as I can do so without spending money for it. That may take a while, however. In the meantime, Avatar: the Last Airbender is on Netflix and I somehow haven’t finished Season 5 of She-Ra yet so I need to up my TV-watching time as a percentage of my day.


I have seen a couple of different variations of the graphic at the top of this post floating around on the internet recently, as well as a couple of different NO NO THIS IS THE INTERNET BEING STUPID types of counter-posts. Folks, the official CDC “considerations” are right here; feel free to look at them yourself and compare them to whatever version of the graphic you’ve seen recently. The paraphrasing is essentially accurate, and the fact that the CDC, whether they’re calling them “guidelines” or “considerations”, doesn’t actually have the power to make their thoughts law doesn’t really matter. The point is, the fucking Center for Disease Control has effectively said that there is no way to safely open schools. Because these “guidelines” or “considerations” or whatever the fuck you want to call them are impossible, and every teacher and other adult who has ever spent any time in schools knows that. I am done for the year, effectively, and my son’s last day was yesterday (I still have some PD stuff over the next couple of weeks, and grades have to be finalized, but there is no further e-learning this year) and there is a lot of time for things to change one way or another between now and August, but the way things stand right now we are not going to be able to reopen schools this fall. Not safely, at least. I know the person in the White House doesn’t give a damn; that’s perfectly clear, but so far the governors have been more reasonable.


Speaking of governors, I had this conversation with my wife earlier:

For context, Woody Whoever’s last name is not Whoever and he is running for Governor as a Democrat, and he is running such a low-key, bullshit campaign that I literally didn’t know that there even was a gubernatorial race this year until seeing his name on my primary ballot. I do not at this time remember his last name and I’m not about to look it up. I did some quick research before I marked his name on the primary ballot (not that it would have mattered, as he was the only candidate) and he seems basically competent, but Gov. Holcomb is one of the few Republicans I’m aware of who I would also describe as “basically competent.” He’s shit on education, but so is everyone else in the damn world. Obama was shit on education. I’ve voted for one candidate who was good on education policy in the last fifteen years or so and she turned out to be a shitty politician and got voted right out again after her first term. It just doesn’t happen that damn often.


Regarding the headline to this post: when I initially wrote it I had plans to tie it into one of the parts of the post, and it was going to make sense and be at least moderately funny in the way my post titles occasionally are, and I have completely forgotten what the hell I was going to tie it into or how– something about classroom size, maybe?– but I’m not going to change it. “I am an idiot” is definitely a theme of this post so we may as well run that shit straight into the ground while we still can.


3:24 PM, Friday, May 22: 1,590,349 confirmed cases and 95,490 Americans dead.

In which we’re all gonna die

The Wonder Woman Funko POP on the far left is brand new as of today; do I keep her with the other Wonder Woman or move her with the other three Funkos on the desk?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.


I have left the house more in this last week than in the six weeks prior to it, mostly because I have to drive my wife to and from work, which is automatically two trips a day, and I went and got groceries yesterday and picked up the grill and blah blah blah. I had a couple more errands that needed running today, unfortunately, but other than work runs I shouldn’t really need to go anywhere for most of next week. When I’m out, I’m wearing a bandana over my face, and I have a friend who is a seamstress making a few proper masks for us. Witness:

We are under a state order right now to wear masks when in “enclosed public spaces,” and the county health department has released a bunch of recommendations as well. What this has led to is a bunch of businesses posting prominent signs outside that you need to have a mask on to be inside … and a bunch of people inside without masks on. One of the errands I had to run was to the pet store, and I was in and out in under five minutes, and less than half of the customers I saw while I was in there were wearing masks. Indiana has had 1400 Covid-related deaths, and St. Joseph county is closing in on its thousandth confirmed case.

This is not fucking complicated, God damn it. It blows my mind that, three years and some change into this person’s administration, the GOP is still finding new ways to be venal and cruel and stupid, and then it blows my mind that I’m still capable of being surprised by these people. Wear a mask so that you don’t get sick! Wear a mask so that you don’t get other people sick! Why is this difficult? Why is “stop being a fucking asshole” a partisan statement?

My Google-fu has failed me, but I saw a clip of a comedian a bit back where he explained that he’s figured out the equation for this administration, which is (surprised x disappointed)2, because if you multiply it properly, first you’re surprised that you’re surprised, then you’re surprised that you’re disappointed, then you’re disappointed that you’re surprised, then you’re disappointed that you’re disappointed. Or something close to that, anyway. I can’t find it.

The other thing I want to bitch about is that on three different occasions today I have either read or heard people speculating about the “second wave” of this disaster that’s coming this fall. Y’all, this shit hasn’t slowed down yet. If anything, we’ve plateaued. There are a few specific localities in America that have bent the curve a bit but they’re about to be overwhelmed by the states that are all opening too fast– probably about another week from now, if past experience is worth anything. We can’t have a fucking second wave if the first wave never stops. And the way things are going, this isn’t going to get any better anytime soon. We have an entire fucking political party openly fucking dedicated to making it worse. We’re fucked for as long as any of these people hold any power, damn it.


5:25 PM, Saturday May 9: the world crossed four million confirmed infections today, with 1,305,199 of those being in America; 78,469 Americans have died, and we’ll be over 80K by the end of the weekend. And y’all are too fucking manly to wear a mask. Fucking idiots.

In which I cannot with these people

This is one of those days, y’all. Everyone and everything is on my nerves and it is getting harder and harder to deal with the fact that we are governed by the worst and stupidest people among us. Like, it’s fun to yammer on about fucking Darwin Awards and some shit– some of these dumb bastards are going to die because of their stupid little protests, and they’re going to make a whole bunch of other people who are fucking smarter than them sick along the way, and if the fucking virus was somehow able to only infect the motherfuckers who deserve it we’d be fine, but it’s a fucking virus and it doesn’t work like that. Because these ignorant assholes are going to get a lot of people killed, and it’s too bad that we can’t find a way to ensure that the people get killed are all them. “Dying of coronavirus to own the libs” is supposed to be sarcastic, you bumblefucks.

Stay the fuck inside.

If you don’t want to stay the fuck inside, stay the fuck inside anyway.

Enough of this shit.


7:40 PM, Saturday April 18: 732,197 and 38,664, and– guess what– the states that don’t have stay-at-home orders are all seeing spikes in infections. You stupid fucks.

94! 94! 9-9-9-9-94!

I voted on the way home from work, and an hour and a half before the polls close I was somehow only the 94th voter at my precinct for the day. Voter participation is traditionally terrible for South Bend mayoral elections, which are always held the year before a presidential election and generally garner no more than 20% turnout, but that number seems lower than usual. The polls close at six; I expect to find out by seven that James Mueller has been elected derplord mayor of South Bend, probably by about a 60-40 margin, if not better. I am moderately invested in one of the City Council races, and hope to find that Rachel Tomas Morgan wins one of the three at-large seats, and … well, that’s about it. It took longer to get the newfangled voting machine to scan my ticket properly than it did to actually vote.

From the Credit Where It’s Due department: I have kicked Republican mayoral candidate Sean Haas some shit for his ungrammatical yard signs and his shitty website; in a burst of curiosity last night I went to his site again and he’s actually had a pretty major overhaul since the last time I looked– and, interestingly, the word Republican is never used once, anywhere on the entire site. I live in Indiana, so I’m used to Democrats trying to run as stealth Republicans (and I don’t appreciate it,) but I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Republican pull that move. Honestly, the guy described on that page seems like somebody who I might be able to vote for, but at this point in American history I am never voting for a Republican again no matter how reasonable they sound. Anyone still remaining in the party belonging to the person in the White House cannot be trusted. That’s all there is to it. If you’re a Republican and you don’t think that should apply to you, fix your fucking party. I’m well beyond sympathy at this point.

Honest truth: the single race I’m most interested in tonight is Qasim Rashid’s. Qasim is running for State Senate in Virginia in District 28, and I haven’t seen any polling or anything but the guy has been working his ass off to get elected. I’ve been following him on Twitter since well before he started to run for office, and he’s a fascinating, progressive guy who will do well for Virginia if he’s elected. I will be more upset if he loses than I will if the guy I voted for for Mayor loses, if that helps you calibrate at all.

(On the headline: I graduated high school in 1994, and the headline, chanted at a certain cadence and speed, was the way our class ended damn near every high school pep rally, with other classes yelling similarly but with whatever their year was. That cadence basically stopped working in 2000, and every so often I wonder what Adams pep rallies are like, because it’s been 20 years since it would work– although, I note, for anyone graduating after 2021 it works again.)

In which this is exactly what I’m talking about

I say it every time I talk about local elections in South Bend: the actual election is the Democratic primary, particularly with respect to the mayoral race, because the local Republican party absolutely refuses to run anyone with the remotest shred of credibility. In the last several years their candidates include demonstrably crazy people and at least one person who was homeless while running for office. They’ve run exactly one credible candidate since I moved back here in 2007 and he spent his entire race running against the city. Turns out if you think a place is a terrible shithole where no one should live, the voters who live there don’t choose you to run the place! I know, it’s weird.

Seriously, this was an actual mailing by those fuckers. Forgive me, it’s the highest-DPI scan I can find and it’s not great:

… yeah, that’s even worse than I thought. It reads: RIP: Here lies South Bend, a once vibrant city now abandoned by business, overrun by violent crime, and driving people from their family homes because of high property taxes.

Now, put me in charge of this awful place that I obviously hate!

Yeah, good luck.

Anyway, I talked about Republican candidate Sean Haas’ shitty website the last time I talked about the mayoral race around here. I am compelled to let everyone know that I have seen my first Sean Haas yard sign, and this motherfucker, who supposedly is a teacher, has no fucking clue whatsoever how capital letters work:

There are ten total and six unique words on that goddamned sign and two of them need capital letters and don’t have them. I dunno, maybe some of you out there think I’m being superficial, but this is a level of don’t-give-a-fuck that I would find shameful from a middle school student. I have both a former student and a former co-worker in common with Haas, although I’ve never met the guy, and while they both say they won’t vote for him neither of them think he’s a terrible person. So, fine, I won’t cast aspersions upon his ancestry or anything like that. But if your damn lawn sign has two typos and only ten words you do not get to be Mayor. I need people who give a shit in that job, and this guy clearly doesn’t, and furthermore he doesn’t have anyone working for him who gives a shit either or this abomination would never have made it out of Photoshop.

Or, y’know, Paint.

It was probably Paint.

So, yeah: when whoever wins the Democratic nomination wins 70-30 in the fall, this is why: it’s not because South Bend is so monolithically Democratic that a Dem win is inevitable– South Bend is in Indiana, after all– it’s because none of the local Republicans give enough of a shit to actually put up a nominee who is worth the money spent on his campaign.

(EDIT: I think I’ve decided who I’m voting for, by the way, but I think I’ll save it for another post and not step on this one. Needless to say, it won’t be Haas.)