if covid ain’t enough, welcome the vampire bees from the pits of hell

On Tuesday evening, a super-pissed-off wasp, or bee, or hornet or miniature black vampire stung me on my neck in the front yard. 

This miniature vampire had my number. I’m convinced he or she attacked me because the day before I destroyed a mud nest being built on our front windows with big-ass waspy looking things buzzing in and out. Their long bodies were nauseating. 

I imagine that when it saw me wielding my clippers, it saw red. His PTSD kicked in, because his house was destroyed by me, a Godzilla. A big, ignorant Godzilla. “Karma’s a BITCH!” it must have screamed in Bee language as it kamikazed my neck in the place it knew it would do the most damage. And if he lived long enough to get away, he sped off screaming, “Die, mother fucker! Die!!!”

Then laughed and laughed a high pitch version of Dr. Evil’s menacing chuckle as it sped off to slap high fives with its best friends and family.

It struck my neck, right near my jugular focusing its poison to do the worst damage quickly sending poison straight up into my head, curving back around, out to my finger tips and down to my legs. 

I screamed madness. “I’ve been stung! I’ve been stung” followed by blood curdling screams. Tina noticed I was already swelling up. Rashes blanketed my arms and face. 

I ran inside. Tina googled a few things to do, like shower and to concoct a baking soda and water mixture to rub on the wound. While I waited for the shower water to warm, I looked through blurry tears, my eyes were closing up. I looked away thinking that if I didn’t see myself, it would just go away. But ignorance was not bliss. I was in pain. A lot of it. 

Out of the shower, Tina was on the phone with my mom, our goto for immediate health care advice. She said she and my dad would come get me and take me to the hospital. Then she heard me in the background screaming and she said, “No, call an ambulance or rush him to Wake Forest Baptist.” 

Tina drove me as fast as possible to the hospital. Upon arrival, she couldn’t go in. Because Covid. 

I checked in and was called back immediately. They interviewed me quickly, then started me on an IV to give me fluids and a steroid. They stuck my shoulder with a syringe full of epinephrine, an adrenaline hormone that would speed recovery, but make me feel like I’d just run 15 miles, making my heart pound harder, a feeling I’ve felt often as a long distance runner. 

I also took two Benadryl. 

Over the four hours in the hospital, I started feeling better within a couple hours. But I kept complaining my throat felt swollen. They decided they needed to drop a camera through my mouth to check my vocal cords. After two tries and lots of gagging, they tried my nose. It hurt. I cried as they rammed the back of my nasal passage like Austin Powers struck in that narrow hallway trying to turn around in that golf cart. 

I braced my hands against the bed rail and another doctor grabbed my right hand. “Keep going,” I muttered. “I’ll be okay.” 

After seeing what they needed, I was green lighted to go home. Come to find out, they needed to make sure my throat wasn’t closing so they’d have time to intubate me before it closed up completely. 


All’s okay. I’m $1000 lighter. Our insurance deductible for ER visits in the hands of Wake Forest staff for saving my life. 

Today, I’m on a fast track of steroids that makes my hands shake as I’m typing this. 

I ponder how privileged and lucky I am to live in a time when science is advanced enough to alleviate something as simple as a bee sting that could have killed me if I lived too far from a hospital, or if I lived in a different country with no access to such advancements, or was born a time when relief for a severe allergic reaction wasn’t developed yet. My parents, friends and family all showered me with love, support and prayers. 

What a day. That dirty little beast got his revenge. And now I have PTSD to go in the yard. But now I have epipens, $130 remedies, should it happen again. 

Stay safe y’all! 

inside i see

Inside, I see

marched feet, clinched fists, muscly sinews flexed to raise a cardboard sign

Are these tears real or canned?

Are these fears legit or deluded? 

Are these swears loud or tamed? 

Are these bears simply asleep or hibernating 

So many voices imprisoned in skull that will never reach the ears of another. 

I can’t count the expletives that will never pass over vocal cords. 

Rage detoured to a dead-ended synapse road. To a suburban cul-de-sac where happiness moved in, lounge in front of a glowing box, mounted to a wall, blinking the signals from the same frequency for untold trips around the sun. 

to protest or not to protest …

Lately, I’ve struggled with the idea that I’m not marching in protests. I see, hear and read what’s going on, and I feel it’s my American duty to stand with those who agree that there’s a great race divide in this country, and sitting on our hands is not okay. But yet, I don’t do anything, but think about it.

What a liberal hypocrite.

During the initial lockdown to shelter in place, Tina and I spent our days painting our house. And when a close friend was served with divorce papers, we took him in, gave him carte blanche to prioritize his divorce, essentially heaping a level of stress on us that became unimaginably challenging.

It’s driven me to a helluva destructive headspace.

I’ve been reading poetry more lately. Reading more in general. Because the news will drive a person to insanity and beyond. But it doesn’t really work to eliminate all the stress revolving around these trying times.

Tina and I got tested for Covid when we arrived in North Carolina last week, because many of Tina’s allergy symptoms are similar to Covid symptoms. So we scheduled appointments at a pharmacy.

Our results came back yesterday. Mine was negative. Tina’s was positive. I can’t be positive without an antibody test, but I assume that I had it first, because I came down with several symptoms back in early June. I called my doctor and she gave me advice on how to proceed as if I had it, but she didn’t tell me to get tested because at the time, they weren’t as abundant.

We immediately got on the phone to tell everyone we’ve come in contact with.

Of those people were many in Chicago and many in North Carolina. The Chicagoans immediately made arrangements to get tested, and they called or texted Tina with well wishes. These are trying times and to test positive for something we know a lot about and so little at the same time … that’s scary.

But our North Carolina friends and family all reacted differently. Only one phone call arrived from my Sister-in-law to set Tina’s mind at ease. But not one of my inner family members so much as provided a good wish or prayer, but seemed to deny the legitimacy of the claim.

Insert head scratch and a bit of anger.

This shit is scary. We don’t know what’s going to happen. And we don’t know what’s going to happen with people we’ve come in contact with.

Either I’ve had it, and convalesced, or I am about to get it and no one called me to say, “Shit man, we got to make sure we all do everything we can to help you should you get it in a way that is challenging and difficult.”

The responses were, frankly, weird and uninformed.

One person told me they had Covid19 twenty years ago, so don’t worry about him.

Other people said they’d wait to experience symptoms to get tested. And yet the science shows that you’re contagious within a few days of exposure.

People are willfully becoming carriers because they want to remain blissfully ignorant. All the while, they are carrying on their schedules.

Here in North Carolina, I’ve seen the most people not wearing a mask even when inside of a store that politely “requires” masks inside. Yesterday, I grocery shopped for over a week of provisions, and I glanced up while opening a plastic bag for produce to spot a maskless woman. I looked back down only to do a quick shot back at her to verify her lack of face covering.

At Home Depot last week, there were all sorts of so-called patriots defying mask requirements. These man’s mans. These t-shirts that claimed “Vietnam Veteran” and “Trump 2020. Keep America Great!”

And yet what separates us from the rest of the world is how we’re winning the war on accumulating the most Coronavirus cases and the most Coronavirus deaths.

To be a patriot, you must be free from face coverings. Because that shit would obstruct their face and make it hard to breathe. Or you might get sick

Or there are people like the one pictured above who think they’re doing “good” by wearing a face shield without a mask. They’re just breathing the air that we’re all trying to avoid. How fucking stupid are people?

It’s almost as if I need to go on full on offensive against the locals who are expressing their American freedom to flaunt blissful ignorance.

AOC wrote the book on how to respond to a shitty apology

Above is AOC’s response to Republican Representative Ted Yoho’s non apology for calling her a “fucking bitch” on the Capital steps after verbally assaulting her earlier in the day.

After having a personal falling out with a dude that — despite all evidence to the contrary that the #MeToo movement is disappeared — and repeating without irony or conviction that Rush Limbaugh said it’s magically disappeared, I can fully comprehend what it feels like to get a non-apology. People who don’t listen and who fall for conspiracies are very difficult to talk to.

People who claim they’re too old to learn because they’re stuck in their ways: this is horse shit.

“I’m sorry,” just doesn’t cut it. It’s a pathetic excuse for behaving badly and saying, “Fuck you, your evidence-based response is not valid.”

This response from AOC is gold. She is the embodiment of the person I was raised to be, disciplined, thoughtful, mind-crushing goodness and accurate tactics for approaching a perceived enemy.

I’m not saying I’m carry the attributes mentioned above with any level of consistency. And neither is AOC. She’s saying that people have bouts of weakness. They fail, and when they do, they should make an apology. A heartfelt one. They should careful listen to their accuser and respond with humility and support.

Her response is likely crushing the minds of conservatives who populate the forums at Brietbart and the like. She’s hated, because she’s a woman of color with a strong attention to morality and ethical behavior. And people who claim morality but are immoral, hate to be reminded that there are people who can do it without issue.

I read Jason Kottke’s response to AOC and loved that he referred to a post he made on how to make a proper apology. Here’s what he posted:

Apologizing is as simple as saying “I’m sorry”, right? Well, not quite. In a piece by Katie Heaney for Science of Us, here are the six components of an apology from Beth Polin:

1. An expression of regret — this, usually, is the actual “I’m sorry.”
2. An explanation (but, importantly, not a justification).
3. An acknowledgment of responsibility.
4. A declaration of repentance. 
5. An offer of repair.
6. A request for forgiveness.

And also, for what it’s worth, Jason Kottke is an artist whom I look up to for someone searching the universe for the best way to be, well, an artist, a human and a genuinely good person.

Republicans for the empowerment and betterment of America

I was appalled yesterday that our president decided that flooding money into “law and order” is somehow more important of a topic than coronavirus. “Look at all the murders in Chicago!” Meanwhile, he drug his feet for how many weeks on a somewhat controllable issue that has killed over 140,000 Americans in less than five months.

Kansas City is confused about Bill Barr’s statement that there have been 200 arrests by the new Operation Legend, only to find out there’s only been one arrest, but 200 since January.

There’s a disconnect.

Yes, protests have been an issue. But it’s a bigger issue than defund the police, coronavirus, or politics. Mr. Trump is blaming protests on the surge of coronavirus cases, yet that’s not the full picture either. Simplistic minds search for simplistic answers to confirm bias. It’s much more complicated.

I am in full support of republicans against this president. I think it’s a best possible way to proceed. I would give my vote to any number of republicans who would work to lead rather than divide. But that’s the same old talking points that the media brainwashed me to think … so the debate continues.

Should the internet be age restricted?

Earlier today, I had a conversation with my brother-in-law’s boyfriend Ken who is in his mid 20s. We talked about some current events, and I was a bit mesmerized by his take on a few things.

He talked about how he doesn’t want to vote for Biden who has trouble with speaking, but the alternative is just another old dude who can’t fucking talk either, is dumb as rocks and adored for his ignorance.

Ken and I broached many topics, but when we got to the fact that I know and love a few conservative people, mainly an NC friend named John (not his real name) and another guy, Bill, not his real name either. Both are outspoken, but not with any iota of their own personal thoughts. Just a regurgitation of the same old bullshit from Rush or Fox or the like.

I told him how I was on the phone with John who, after I made a sexist “joke” and Tina shot me a look.

“Shit. Tina just gave me a dirty look.” I said. And then I apologized for doing it.

Then my buddy on the other end of the phone line said, “Hashtag Me Too!”

I laughed and then my buddy says, “Hey, did you ever notice that after Joe Biden was accused by that woman for sexual misconduct, the whole Me Too movement disappeared?”

“What? I just saw hashtag metoo in an article I read today. Shoot, I saw it like four times. Where did you hear that?”

“I didn’t hear it. I made the observation.”

“Bullshit,” I said. “You had to have heard that somewhere.”

And sure enough, a simple google search (here) rendered a link to Rush Limbaugh mysteriously making the same claim that my buddy made. What a coincidence? So I sent him a text showing with clarity that he lied to me. He didn’t make any effort to correct himself. To say, “Yeah, you’re right.”

Then I sent him a note that if you google: “metoo” recent stories fill several pages. The screen cap to the left is just one page of many examples.

Many of the stories happened within hours of our discussion.

The MeToo movement didn’t disappear. It might not be as loud as it was, because Covid, BLM, Trump’s endless tweet storms and the shit economy.

But yeah. It’s still there. So not only did he regurgitate some horseshit hoax conjured up by the deficient mind of a madman, Johnny boy is repeating the shit as “truth.”

I ended up texting him some reticent evils and finally picked up the phone and laid into him so hard … because this isn’t the first time he’s done it. And the fact that he’s unapologetic about it was a big fuck you.

But that’s a weird segue, because one of the things that my Brother in Law’s boyfriend and I talked about was that the Internet is literally crippling the older generation and that there should not be access to the internet for anyone over, say 50.

It’s like where they go to let the maggots infest their previously spectacular methods of critical thought. I’ve read umpteen articles and tweet threads detailing how some person’s otherwise intelligent parent went from a science understanding nurse to complete batshit nutter who doubts science, the government, and that everything is a fucking conspiracy.

My brother and I were talking the other day and Bill sent him a video about a guy spreading the same disinformation about Covid as everyone you’ve heard lately, and my Bill wrote, “This makes a lot of sense.”

Check it for yourself here:

One of the first things this guy claims that there is a deliberate mixing of all the wordplay.

His very first example is the word “Quarantine.”

He says, “We should stop calling it ‘quarantine.’ That’s a term for people who are verified sick.”

It’s for verified sick? Sounds good, right? Keep listening, right? Well, no dude. No. That should have been EVERYONE’s clue to turn off this baseball cap wearing lunatic.

Quarantine is:

quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests. It is often used in connection to disease and illness, preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis. It is distinct from medical isolation, in which those confirmed to be infected with a communicable disease are isolated from the healthy population. Quarantine considerations are often one aspect of border control.

Keep in mind, too, that the first term that was used was simply, “Shelter in place.” Most medical professionals weren’t telling people to quarantine. They referred to quarantine when someone thinks they might have come into contact with a sick person. They were encouraging a measured, calculable risk factor and mitigating those conditions for the greater good of your neighbors, friends, family and loved ones.

“This is a house arrest, mandated by the state,” the guy in the video says.

Then he says, “There’s nothing social about social distancing.”

But the term is accurate. When you’re social, distance yourself. It’s not rocket fucking science. Again, this is someone that is receiving praise and accolades for “breaking it down.”

You can listen/watch for yourselves. It’s a treasure trove of word salads that, according to the responses to the video, are brilliant! I was thinking the same thing!

There’s also discussion of it being deleted from other people’s accounts … so if it’s deleted, it’s PROOF of a deep state effort to keep us all STUPID. This whole “deletion = must be true” is easily the dumbest of all dumb statements.

Hi, I’m Johnny boy and I get my professional advice from a dude in a hat waxing a poetic jungle of bullshit so that we can all see this hoax for what it really is: a way to control you, to make Mr. Trump look badly, to remove people.

Just wait till you get to the point that he claims the government shut down millions of small businesses but abortion clinics stay open … and that hygiene is not what will help slow the spread of infectious disease, I hope every to the absent god that people can of this novel douchbag is communicating:

These are the same people who believe that capitalism is the key to successful economies, but the government is so desperate to control you that they came up with a “flu” that forced the world to shut down, stop working and suffer.

My God. My friends are Qanon junkies.

Ken and I talked about how we agree that the Internet should have age restrictions. It’s been said before, the internet is literally doing to old people what rock-and-roll was once thought to do to kids … melt their brains.

Please do your best to stay safe and put your best foot forward to not perpetuate conspiracies or unfounded, poorly thought ramblings of insanity.

Meanwhile, here’s proof positive that the fucking MeToo movement is alive and flourishing:

May you never fall for the hoax

May you and yours avoid this virus and never become infected so that you can blissfully continue in your bubble till the end of your time.

May the challenge of donning a fitted cloth over your nose and mouth never disturb you, your beautiful makeup, your finely coiffed beard, your front sphincter from the freedoms it has enjoyed since you were delivered into this world by a group of men and women with their faces covered by masks, to keep you and your beautiful mothers safe from harm, infection, and disease.

May you never eat crow, like Chuck Woolery, Brian Hitchens, Richard Rose and countless other deniers turned believers.

May you stand on the hillside of glorious righteousness with the wind at your back so you never smell the mounds of rotting carcasses behind you.

May you live the rest of your long life with nary sniffle as to avoid any need to enter a hospital and happen upon a refrigerated truck with its door open and piled high with body bags.

May you never hear the wheeze of a loved one or the rise and fall of a ventilator keeping your best friend, you son, your daughter, your mother, your father, your grandmother or grandfather, or yourself … alive.

May you never leave Florida, Texas, Arizona or whatever other state you came from so that we may avoid a face-to-face trifle over differences of thought and allegiances to your idea of country over neighbor.

May your schools fully reopen, and their elementary school that doubles as a Petri dish never affect your children, causing them to bring home the virus, infect you, your family, your grandparents or your neighbors.

May your children never experience a returning viral infection, with its residual effects, causing them a lifetime of ailments and issues. I mean, Herpes is only an issue for a couple of weeks every once and again, right?

May you never have to feel the prick of a vaccination needle because you think Bill Gates is trying to chip you, control you and make you fall for the madness that is accepting science.

May you never recognize that you’ve already been chipped by the phone in your pocket that delivers – in great detail to the exact people you’re afraid of –– wherever you go, wherever you are, all the time. The chip is listening in, and it is the vehicle by which your activities and marketing information are sold at great prices to the people who want you to buy their products. But hey, it takes great pictures of your breakfast!

May you come to your senses and help us fight this virus together, unified, in an act of kindness, courtesy and neighborliness … so that we can move forward like other countries who have seemingly eradicated it by simple measures of hygiene.

May us all put the division of politics into the blazing garbage can burning with the embers from our words and deeds. May we come to agree to: wash our hands, wear a mask in public, keep your distance, and may we be good humans.

5G be with you. And also with you.
– Jeremy Wallawallabingbang