It was late afternoon on Saturday March 14, 2020 and I was in my Korean language class at the Korean Culture Center in Koreatown in midtown Manhattan. Only 4 people had shown up, so the teacher had the rest of the class on her laptop on something called “Zoom”.
By then, the New York governor had already declared a “state of emergency” and had cancelled the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan for the first time since 1762. On March 12, he had shut down all the theaters on Broadway, and had “contained” an outbreak in New Rochelle in Westchester County by quarantining the town and sending in National Guard troops to direct traffic away from the hot zone.
I thought the actions were drastic but necessary, as precautions against the spread of this new virus but, since I’m not a fan of the St. Pat’s Day parade and I rarely bother to go see anything on Broadway, and I lived 35 miles away from New Rochelle, I felt that my life would be largely unaffected, except that I’d be washing my hands a lot more often and for a lot longer.
The Korean class ended, and I walked to Penn Station to get my train home to the north shore of Long Island.
That was the last time I had a normal day.
The next day, the mayor of New York City closed all the schools, including my Korean school, and on March 17 he issued a “shelter in place” order for all five boroughs.
Lastly, by order of the governor, all of New York state went into lockdown at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
The face masks, the isolation, the one-way aisles in the grocery store, the plexiglass partitions everywhere…that’s normal now.
All in all, I’ve stayed pretty normal during this past year. As you know, a new kitten came into our lives last Summer, and she’s a delight, but she’s taken a tool on our den couches. these couches were already the cat’s favorite scratching posts and they looked really crappy, but Kimmy likes to get INSIDE and tear out the stuffing. So, in order to prevent her from eating the insides of our couches, I’ve had to take drastic measures:
Here the culprit, posing with her “work:”
Since last March 14, I have taken 45 Korean classes. It’s really thanks to Korean that I have had something to keep my brain engaged while in isolation. It also means that, for this class alone, I’ve spent 67. 5 hours, on Zoom.
Dear Reader Jeanie was right: if BTS had won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by Group or Duo last Sunday, you wold have heard me scream all the way to Michigan. But, alas, the award went to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande and in response, the people at TOPPS candy came out with a commemorative Garbage Pail Kids collectible card:
The Garbage Pail Kids are for, uh, kids, and they are supposed to be satirical and a little gross, but the image of the members of BTS being hammered like Whack-A-Moles was Not Right. I found out about it on Twitter, actually from a BTS fan in Israel, that BTS fans around the world were already organizing a protest. I did my bit, and emailed a short message to TOPPS that the image was offensive and requesting that it be removed. I got this reply:
Later the same day, my Twitter tl informed me:
Five hours after I had sent my email to TOPPS, the company replied to me:
I give TOPPS credit for taking responsibility, for removing the image, and for contacting me.
You might be wondering why would I and a few million others would bother about a Garbage Pail Kids card game:
You know…it’s always this fucking guy, ALWAYS. Some fucking guy has a problem, and it’s the fault of women, and the solution is to go kill the people who are responsible for this fucking guy’s failings. ALWAYS. Women always pay for men’s sexual frustrations and if you ask me, that’s the whole reason behind religion and the Republican party but let’s not digress.
So many people complained about this police spokesperson, Captain Jay Baker, and his “had a bad day” speech, that the county put out a press release:
It was a big deal that Korean musicians had been nominated for an American music award, and it was a big deal that a Korean-American movie, Minari, had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture , along with a nomination for Best Director for its Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung and two Korean-American actors from the movie for Best Actor, Steven Yeung, and Best Supporting Actress, Yuh-jung Youn. It had been a good week for Korean-Americans, and by extension, to all AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders). And then this happened.
It’s also wrong and racist to keep referring to the spas as “massage parlors”, and for the narrative to be around “sex addiction”.
We all know that this violence agains Asian women didn’t come out of nowhere. There have been over 3,400 hate crimes against Asian Americans since Trump started talking about the China virus. And, of course, it’s usually men who take out their anger over COVID’s affect on all of our lives in cowardly attacks on elderly Asians:
Are white men the problem? Here’s your answer:
And, while we’re dismantling white supremacy and general human stupidity, for god’s sake, let’s get this done:
Over 300 people have been arrested for their “alleged” participation in the riot during the insurrection in Washington DC on January 2, and then there’s this fucking guy:
Right. The Republican senator from Wisconsin says that Black Lives Matter protestors are scary, but the Trump rioters were “patriots” who ‘loved America”.
Well, Senator Shit For Brains, I’m a black Lives Matter protestor. I’m a 65-year old white lady from the suburbs. Do I look scary?
(Insert photo of me taken on my 65th birthday, and the correct answer is yes, Vivian, you do look scary.)
This is where my internet and/or WordPress crapped out, so I’m going to bring it to a finish with little further commentary and a bit less content than I had planned.
Let’s get back to the good news that over 300 of those insurrectionist fucks have been hunted down and arrested by the FBI:
This is the face of Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold:
This is Merrick Garland, our new Attorney General, whose nomination to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama was held up forever by Mitch McDonnell. I know I say it too much, but Fuck You, Mitch.
How’s the rest of the Republican party doing?
Kevin McCarthy, leader the Republicanism the House of Representatives:
Liar and sex pest Madison Crawley Republican from North Carolina gets lesson in constitutional law from Ted Lieu, Democratic house member from southern California:
That’s the week that was, Dear Readers. I’m sorry I’m late today — my internet froze for an hour and I got up late.
Enjoy some cats and dogs and some interesting trivia about earthworms, for Dear Reader Steve, whose husband makes a mean earthworm chili and which apparently is not as icky as it sounds:
Have a great weekend, everyone. Thank you for reading, and for being here each week during the pandemic. Let’s keep each other sane.