Category Archives: Blog

Day 61: A Real President Sighting

It’s been a very melancholy day. My girlfriend was scheduled to walk in her graduation today, celebrating earning her Masters’s degree. That didn’t happen. She was really looking forward to it and so was I. Hundreds of thousands of #Classof2020 graduates and their families shared our pain.

But there was hope.

Barack Obama took to the primetime airwaves tonight, and for a brief moment, offered a tear in an alternate reality we have suffered through for the last four years.

His calming tone and utter lack of insecurity soothed a parched nation looking for a sparkle of light in the dark days ahead.

His speech had an incredibly odd, visceral effect on me. I could LITERALLY feel the chronically tense muscles in my body, loosen. I have hypertension and had I taken my BP, I promise it would have been normal.

We have come to accept the hatred and neo-fascism of the GOP and Trump as our new reality. Seeing former President Obama, and Malala, offer words of encouragement to a battered nation was profoundly healing.

That’s it.

That’s all I’ve got.

That’s all I needed…


PS: Congrats to the UC Berkeley Class of 2020. From civil unrest, fires, Earthquakes, smoke, PG&E power shutdowns, to COVID19, you have indeed earned your iconic status and a place in the history books. Fiat Lux.

Day 55: Murder Bees and Murder Cars

Bike front damage

I’m no structural engineer, but I’m pretty sure this photo of my bike last Tuesday does not represent the preferred geometry of a road cycle.

But more on that later.

Murder bees, amirite? WTF.

Between wondering if the next presidential election will be compromised, the very first time in my 59 years I’ve even considered the possibility that our election may be illegitimate, and then fricking Murder bees…

And now we have Billy Bob and Jethro murdering African American’s in cold blood in the South. Lynching by Winchester. Yeah, I know, I’m late to the game. Most of my liberal, boomer cohort is late to this reality. We just KNEW this wasn’t our America. Until a vile, grifting, wannabe despot opened our eyes to a new and ugly world, that our privilege has allowed us to ignore.

Maybe the quarantine is a good thing. It’s allowed some of us to take a very hard look at how our perception of our America and how our new reality of America squares. News flash: it doesn’t. My gut tells me that despite the horrors we are collectively experiencing, that these hardships were/are a necessary corrective mechanism. God, I have to believe that, because if I don’t, desperation and cynicism will win the day.

This is our opportunity to fundamentally reshape our democracy for the better. But that won’t happen until folks like me, erstwhile liberals who have skated along waiting for the other guy to do the right thing, take a deep dive into the agenda of organizations like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Because if we don’t step out of our freshly cut front lawn encapsulated hallucinations, we will eventually be at the mercy of the steadily rising fascist movement crawling out from underneath their rocks and finding agency in a new media landscape.

Fuck. This is depressing.

Back to the bike. On my lunch hour Tuesday, I decided to try to get an hour ride in at least three days per week to combat my predictably expanding waistline. Less than a mile in I was approaching a four-way stop sign and saw a pick-up truck approaching his stop on my right. I slowed down to nearly a stop and entered the intersection as I watchfully eyed the truck, out of sheer habit and a well-earned caution of Berkeley drivers. Sure enough, the truck never even slowed down, entering the intersection and turning directly into me.

Had I not anticipated this, I would have gone underneath the truck, just as my bike did, but seeing it unfold in slow motion, I was able to unclip from my pedals and ninja jump backward as the bike crunched under the front bumper. I literally landed on my feet, unhurt.

I’ll spare you the legal details, but a HUGE shout out to the witness that stopped and provided his name and phone number. His testimony to the insurance company solidified their ruling that the driver was 100% at fault.

I don’t recall if I’ve documented this on my blog before, but I suffer from PTSD (TL:DR, but it can be gleaned from previous posts) and this little incident unexpectedly caused it to rear its ugly head for the balance of the day. This is the second time in the last six months that a stressful incident has unleashed the PTSD symptoms. I’m sure some of it is simply aging, but I intend on checking in with a therapist specializing in PTSD to explore this more. I’m no hero and strongly encourage others to seek out mental health. Time for me to take my own advice.

Day 55. Nearly 80k Americans dead. Damn…


Day 48: The Other Pandemic


I’m absolutely gutted right now.

Writing angry is never good, but you’ll excuse the oversight.

I’m feeling pretty hopeless.

The photo above is of Courtney Brousseau. My daughter was a classmate of his in high school. In response to my text to her this morning, she said, “…he had more potential than most I knew at school.”

Courtney was murdered.

After an illustrious career at Newbury Park High School where he was the Editor of the same student newspaper that my daughter was Chief Photographer, he enrolled at UC Berkeley. My school. My alma mater.

He went on to a position of leadership in our student union, and a cursory google search demonstrates the extent of his engagement here at Cal.

There are over 40,000 students here at Cal, but despite his well earned high profile, I never knew him. I’m the poorer for it.

Courtney didn’t die from Covid19. Courtney was murdered in a drive-by shooting.

With a gun. The other pandemic.

The pandemic that we will go on to ignore once the Covid pandemic is but a distant memory.

The pandemic that is easily diminished through common-sense gun legislation. You know, like Canada did within a month of their worst mass shooting.

I’m fucking sick of the other pandemic.

Friends of my kids and a Sheriff’s sergeant that I used to work with were murdered in the Borderline Bar shooting in Thousand Oaks a few years ago. In the same bar where I proposed to the mother of my children.

Courtney is just the latest example of the other pandemic to affect me personally.

I lost a son five-years after a vehicle accident that became a high-profile media event in the same community Courtney was raised. I’d like to say I can’t imagine what the family is feeling right now, but I do.

Maybe the anger is a manifestation of the PTSD I continue to suffer as the result of his accident.

Maybe it’s just because it’s so fundamentally fucked-up that a young man with so much potential to make a positive impact in this dystopian world was cut down by another gun, while Covidiots roam the streets and the President acts like a petulant child on Twitter.

I’m so sorry for Courtney’s family. I’m so sorry for his friends and the Cal community that embraced him.

I’m devastated that his voice and his spirit was silenced.

This was posted hours before Courtney’s murder:

Screenshot 2020-05-03 at 11.51.17 AM

Everything’s okay for you now Courtney.

I wish I could say the same for us…

Day 38: Office Space

I started my new job on Monday. Remotely.

You haven’t lived until you get a chance to meet your new coworkers, thirty-plus of them, via Zoom. It’s all you can imagine it is, anxiety-wise.

Starting a new gig is tough to begin with, but Employment in the Time of Corona is a unique beast.

For starters, even working remotely, I’m exhausted. 8-5, Monday through Friday, sitting at my desk, trying to navigate the ins and outs of a massive bureaucracy that I’ll soon be enmeshed in.

All I can think of is Office Space and TPS reports.

But I digress…

I actually LOVE my new job. I work for an organization that I love and I’m a part of something much bigger than myself. Educating human beings. It’s pretty cool.

Not to mention that I have a job to quasi-bitch about. Lots of folks don’t. In fact, my EDD money for my lost work is AWOL, right along with my Stigmata Check signed by Dear Leader.

Speaking of Dear Leader, at today’s televised auto-fellatio session, Dr. Trump recommended injecting disinfectant.

I swear to God if I went back ten years and time-traveled to just now and read the words I just typed…I’d…fuck I don’t know that I wouldn’t just end it all right then and there.

But here we are.

In logistical minute news, we scored a 30-roll of toilet paper at our local Asian market. In direct response to Dear Leader’s putrid racism, I vow to envision wiping my ass with his way too long ties every time.

All end with this: dear office workers–God bless you. This is the first time in 45 some years of employment that I’ve had an 8-5. It’s a lot more challenging than I anticipated. Kudos to all who trudge this important path.



Day…whatever (33)

I missed posting yesterday, as I had promised.

The day got away from me. Most days are getting away from me. I’m certainly falling into the following rut:

Wake up later than usual. Drink coffee. Get on social media. Check email. Look for apartments. Go on a bike ride. Or not. Nap. Nap again. Nap some more. Wake up. Drink more coffee. Do some actual productive work. Make dinner. Watch “Repair Shop” on Netflix. Go to bed and scroll through Twitter for a few hours. Repeat.

There, ladies and gentlemen is the wreckage of my life during the quarantine. It’s varied only slightly from this routine.

I will humblebrag that yesterday I went on a 29-mile bike ride from my place in the Berkeley Hills to Yerba Buena Island in the San Francisco Bay. It’s a great ride with the following caveat: miles 24-29 are gradually uphill, with mile 27-29 being painfully so, or in the words of us nerd cyclists–a Cat 3 climb. So yeah, it’s painful. But you know what, yesterday I destroyed my PR (personal record) on that climb. I blame shelter-in-place and my pent-up rage, but damn it felt good.

And then I took a really long nap.


I probably won’t be posting daily any longer. Or maybe I will. The bottom line is this SIP portion of the blog is intended to document my feelings/experiences during one of the most unusual times in modern history. And I’m lazy. So I’ll stick to the spirit and post as often as possible. And oh yeah, I start my new job (remotely) on Monday, so that may add another slight barrier.

Stay tuned.


Day 31: A day late

Ugh. No excuse. Time just got away from me.

I’m still having issues with IRS and EDD. Bureaucracies suck.

Nice easy bike ride today in anticipation of a longer one tomorrow (later today). It’s amazing what a simple 40-minute escape from reality can do for my mental health.

This…the quarantine…is the new normal. I don’t like it.

I don’t like having to be home all the time. I don’t like not being able to access services normally available.

But most of all, I don’t like the fact that my fellow citizens are taking their dislike to incredibly selfish and privileged standards.

In Michigan, Trump supporters gathered en masse, with their god-given guns of course, and created a blockade to a hospital. One of the Trump/Pence signs carried prominently displayed a swastika.

In another part of the country, a man complained that he couldn’t get grass seed. He was nearly in tears. A woman indignantly stated that she couldn’t get her hair did.

Fuck me.

Need I even state that the vast majority of these folks are white?

This pisses me off to no end and I am desperate to write a book about white privilege and the legacy of the entitlement white folks like me seem to carry like a birth right.

But in the meantime. I’m going to try to login to the IRS website for the billionth time.

Until later today…

Day 30: A month in exile

I’ve been off work (forced) for a full month now.


I’m extraordinarily lucky that before my furlough, I began the hiring process at another job, that starts next Monday (remotely). So I’ll have some income arriving within a few weeks. That’s a boatload to be thankful for.

But I’ll admit, today I melted down.

I expected (incorrectly) that EDD would come close to matching my pay while furloughed. I certified for two weeks and received nothing. Now I can’t determine how to certify for the following two weeks so I’ll need to get on the phone with EDD in the next few days.

Oh, joy.

But it gets better.

Pete Buttigieg tweeted a link to the IRS website where you can check on the status of one’s stimulus check. You know, the $1200 that Dear Leader is lending us?

I was counting on not only that but EDD $ and so far, nothing.

I logged in and the website told me that my bank account wasn’t on file. Without going into too much information for the thirsty dark web, there’s a glitch in the system that requires a yes or no answer. I can’t answer it that way, so I can’t update it.

That means, in addition to calling EDD, I get to call IRS. I’m sure they’re not busy right now.

Again, I’m blessed and fucking privileged AF, but I’m human and today got to me. One of the security cams in our house broke right around the time I was melting down, so, for the most part, I was a screaming, petulant child.

This is a stressful time for everyone, and I thought I’d been managing it okay. Clearly not.

Welcome to the new reality.

Day 29: The Real Enemy

I have a well-documented hatred and disgust for Donald Trump. It began long before he announced his intentions for a run at the presidency, back in the days when he was simply a grifting real estate mogul in New York.

As the nation saw yesterday, under stress, his true colors came out. He’s a fraud. A grifter can only run the game so far and it’s my desperate desire that yesterday was a peek at what’s to come.

But amidst the death and destruction caused by this would-be despot, the fact of the matter is he’s just an instrument of a far more sinister personality: Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Forgetting for a moment Vlad Putin’s influence on Trump (I believe it’s there, but less active and more opportunistic on Russia’s part), McConnell is the real enemy.

On April 12, 2020, the New Yorker published an exhaustive examination of McConnell: his upbringing, his motivations, and his relationship with Trump.

As many have suspected, absent the support of McConnell, the Trump presidency, and the disaster it has wrought, would have ended almost as soon as it began.

Without re-narrating Mayer’s excellent piece (its TLDR for sure, but worth the time), it’s painfully evident that at some point, McConnell developed a sociopathic need for control. He has become the poster child for the end justifying the means. Witness the article’s discussion of McConnell’s personal disgust for Trump, balanced against his own innate lust for power, and his unremitting willingness to turn up his nose while he does the unpleasant work of satiating the President as long as the Republican base, particularly in Kentucky, is soothed.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the piece was an anecdote about McConnell’s long relationship with David Jones, former head of Humana. Upon Jones’ recent death, McConnell said he was “without exaggeration, the single most influential friend and mentor I’ve had in my entire career.” And yet when Jones, prior to his death, and his sons, post-mortem, implored McConnell in detailed and pointed letters to prevent the train wreck that Trump was foisting on America, McConnell chose the path leading to power, and simply ignored their pleas. That corporate donors wield such specific policy-making power is the subject for another day, but further evidence that the Oligarchy is already among us.

It’s abundantly clear where McConnell’s priorities lie, and he has no shame in doing whatever it takes to attain that goal. He is willing to destroy the United States of American and her constitution to retain his hold on power.

Without McConnell, Trump goes down in history as another failed sideshow barker, properly disgraced and reviled.

With McConnell, historians will have a field day describing the global criminal enterprise that Trump has amassed.

I only hope they give credit to the real enemy.

Stay safe…

Day 28: #trumpmeltdown

Brief one today because I want to tackle a New Yorker article tomorrow.

#trumpmeltdown is trending on Twitter.

This is in response to his WH Task Force Briefing in which he played a campaign video (produced at taxpayer’s expense, which is illegal) that extolled his virtues in responding to the #trumpvirus. Then he went on to meltdown when a CBS reporter, properly, and FINALLY held his feet to the fire about his negligent/criminal response. He lost it.

More of this, please. Just in time for November.

Perhaps most sociopathic moment was his direct claim that the President had “total authority.”


Stay safe…

Day 27: The blood on his hands…

Dear Leader recently downplayed the need for Covid19 testing at one of his televised masturbation sessions.

Today, I read an excellent article by one of my former classmates detailing the tragic death of a young Santa Rosa police detective. It was heartbreaking.

The detective and her family requested tests multiple times during the initial stages of her illness and were refused by Kaiser (this is a post for another day, but it appears that they were following federal guidelines). When the test was finally performed, sadly, the young detective was too far gone. She died.

And our “President” has blood on his hands. My god, even ignoring (Narrator: there is NO ignoring) his intentionally negligent behavior leading up to this crisis, that his narcissistic obsession with ratings overrides any efforts at correcting the mess he’s already made just makes me sick. And makes me very, very embarrassed to be an American. That’s a first for me.

There is ZERO excuse for his behavior and when I read about a preventable death like this, well, it makes me want to take action. That’s the silver lining to this ominously dark cloud we’ve been living under since 2016.

Maybe the lives of those lost can be remembered and honored by those of us unaffected physically by taking action to guarantee something like this never happens again.

Look, folks, we’ve been headed down this road since Reagan and the moral majority and we’ve sat on our asses and let it happen. What we are experiencing today is the direct result of privileged apathy. It disgusts me. And I share as much responsibility as the next guy.

Let’s do something about it in the next presidential election. Regardless of your views on Biden it’s IMPERATIVE that we vote out the criminal currently occupying the White House. Spare me all the arguments about voting for Trump in protest or simply not voting. You’ll have just as much blood on your hands as Dear Leader does.

But that’s not enough. We MUST institute significant constitutional reform. The reality is, we’ve outgrown the document as written, but the framers were keen enough to create an amendment mechanism to allow growth. Well, it’s time to grow kids: starting with oversight of the executive branch, term limits in the Senate, campaign finance reform, and measures to eliminate gerrymandering.

And lastly, Trump and his entire criminal enterprise must be investigated, prosecuted, and sentenced to the full extent of the law.

To do anything less is to dishonor the memories of those Americans who have been preventably lost to this pandemic.

Stay safe…

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