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» Saturday, May 30, 2020The Beautiful and the Sordid
Wednesday an official milestone was reached: 100,000 people in the United States had died of COVID-19.
And Wednesday we had another trip to Kaiser: James had to pick up the latest prescription for his UTI (now he has a fungal infection) and decided just to reorder a big batch of prescriptions as well. From there we went to Publix. We were actually thinking of going to Barnes & Noble, but instead we came home and I was glad of it, because (guess what) the heat was once again doing a number on my lower GI. We wanted to watch the SpaceX launch anyway: this is their first mission carrying human beings, two astronauts who are traveling to the International Space Station. And the launch is from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, where we went to the moon. Mission Control was alive once again. Alas, afternoon Florida weather struck: there was a chance of lightning and a tornado warning. Evidently they did not want a replay of the Apollo 12, where the whole spacecraft was hit by lightning. Twice. They have another launch window on Saturday.
Thursday we had to go back to Kaiser, because while he got all his refills they never gave him the new prescription! Sigh. From there we did a turn around Lidl, then I ran into Kroger for no-salt mushrooms and low-sodium Pringles. We had to hurry home, because James had his first physical therapy appointment for his back that afternoon. While he was out, I decided to tool out to the Office Max on Thornton Road because I thought it was high time I made sure I had a refill for my Sheaffer pen that I use in my journal, and that store was the closest one that had any (there were supposedly three in stock). Well, when I got there, there were none on the rack. Between a very nice salesperson and the manager, they found me the last, lone one, but the package was broken open. They gave it to me for fifty cents.
On the way home I stopped at a Big Lots and found more big rolls of Bounty, plus the oversize bottle of Suave shampoo I was looking for. And Home Depot had triple-taps; I got both a polarized one and two non-polarized ones. After shifting around a few things when I got home, we should have enough spares now.
And Friday we had lunch out with friends! Gathered with Alice, Ken, and Aubrey at O'Charley's, where we got seated in a corner near the bar. The waitress brought your stuff and put it on a tray behind you, and you picked it up yourself, for minimal contact. It worked out well, and my steak, baked potato, and green salad was dandy.
And then we did go to Barnes & Noble, which was both refreshing and disappointing. They have rearranged the entire store, with all the fiction now downstairs. I like the new layout, but I think if possible they may have fewer books in the store! So tired of all the dumb toys and stuffed animals and junk. I don't mind book-related toys so much, like Harry Potter wands and stuffed owls, and the like, because at least they have a connection with books, and learning toys, but building toys and dolls and stuffed animals are just annoying. Since I complained so mightily to them on Facebook, I decided I had to buy something: I found Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America, about the vice-presidents who succeeded to the presidency due to death (assassination or otherwise).
We still got home very early; I watched three episodes of Longmire and then, to lure James away from the computer, found Strategic Air Command on Amazon Prime. It worked, too!
Saturday morning I hurried downstairs to finally vacuum the library and then get the main area done, because we would spend late morning and most of the afternoon watching the SpaceX launch. It went flawlessly, even though there was a better chance of rain today and they went almost down to the wire on a weather scrub. But the clouds cleared and the Falcon rocket rose like a dream and lifted the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. It's so nice to see space coverage again! And I loved seeing the excitement of the younger people, including the two astronauts on the NASA coverage and drawings sent in by boys and girls inspired by exploration.
Alan Siler had also arranged to have a virtual WHOlanta on Facebook. I got to the correct group late, and then was always a little behind, so I only saw a bit of the Doctor Who music discussion and a little more of Sophie Aldred, but did see all of Colin Baker. It was a great idea, but I was too distracted by the SpaceX mission to give it my proper attention.
It was almost an antidote for what was going on downtown. People are protesting, and rightly, too, over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in south Georgia. The George Floyd death is particular nasty—the police officer had him pinned to the ground by putting a knee on his neck for eight minutes, effectively smothering the poor man while three other officers did nothing to stop him. The video of this is absolutely hideous and painful to watch. Arbery was shot earlier this year because two self-appointed neighborhood vigilantes thought this guy jogging through their neighborhood "might be" a burglar who had struck back in December and chased him down. He turned around and tried to fight them off—of course he did! what would you do if you were jogging and two crazy men suddenly started attacking you?—and they shot him (but haven't been arrested for it until now). But of course in a group of perfectly justified protestors there are always people who spoil it for everyone else: suddenly there are figures running amok setting fire to buildings and police cars, and then looting stores. Most of the stores wrecked and looted were owned by people of color, so who was actually harmed? An African-American police officer was deliberately hit and seriously injured as well, by someone on an ATV. Plus an AT&T store was looted. Because nothing says respect for the death of an innocent man like busting windows and stealing cell phones! Atlanta's mayor was furious and told them to go home and quit disrespecting George Floyd's death.
I am having 1968 flashbacks. I was twelve in 1968. Via the news I saw Dr. Martin Luther King shot. I saw Bobby Kennedy shot. I saw riots at both the Democratic and Republican conventions. I saw police turn fire hoses and tear gas and German Shepherds on Vietnam protesters and Civil Rights marchers. I saw Watts burn. And I thought people would know better and be better when I was an adult. And we're still doing this effing racist shit. As if the color of your skin has anything to do with what kind of person you are! Madness! Revolting! Sickening! This isn't 1820, or even 1920! It's the 21st century and why are we still falling for this fake crap about "superior racial groups"?