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Sheltering-in-place Stream of Consciousness


We’re having our first serious heat wave in California. Temps today in the inland suburbs will be well into the 100s; even here in Oakland, it will be close to 90, or higher.

People unfamiliar with the Bay Area are always amazed how the temperatures vary within a short distance. Let’s say it will be 105 today in Concord, less than 20 miles inland from the beach. Yet right on the beach, the high won’t get out of the 60s. That’s a 40-degree differential. You’d never see that on the East Coast, or anywhere east of the Sierra Nevada for that matter.

That’s one of the things I love best about Oakland. It’s right in the middle, the Goldilocks of the Bay Area: not too hot, not too cold. I once saw a weather survey of American cities and it said that Oakland has the best climate of them all. Of course, there are things about Oakland that drive me crazy. But that would be true no matter where I lived, I guess.

We’re reopening here in the Bay Area, same as everywhere else. You still have to social-distance and wear a mask, but restaurants, thank goodness, are slowly reopening, and wine stores are doing curbside. Gov. Newsom’s “Phase 3” should be here within a few weeks; hopefully it will allow gyms to reopen. The headline in today’s paper is that Newsom is allowing churches to reopen, albeit with specific safety guidelines. I believe that our Governor is doing this a little sooner than he otherwise would have preferred; but he’s been catching enormous flack from church leaders, Republican pols and Trump himself; Newsom after all is a politician, and politicians eventually have to respond to public pressure.

Fine with me. I don’t care if the churches open or stay closed. I do think it’s sad that so many so-called religious people have conflated reopening with Republican politics. But then, these people are so muddle-headed, they see everything in terms of “trump” or “not trump.” Not everything revolves around Trump, of course, but for Republicans, there is no other reality. They are truly as addicted to their leader as a junkie is to his heroin.

We’ve all been coming up with scenarios for what will happen going forward, particularly concerning the election. A new possibility occurred to me last night. Let’s say Trump wins re-election, but Democrats keep the House and regain the Senate. Then what? If it was up to me, I’d Impeach the sonuvabitch a second time, only this time we’d convict him in the Senate and throw his fat ass out of office. That leads to scenarios-within-scenarios. Trump’s followers—the NRA ammophiles, the Rapture crowd, the Pabst Blue Ribbon trailer park freaks—would go ballistic, egged on by Fox “News” and the sociopaths of rightwing talk radio. I could see massive demonstrations, with open-carry thugs threatening Democratic institutions. The police—many of them Republicans themselves—would have to make hard choices. But then, in civil uprisings, the constabulary always has to decide if it’s on the side of the Law, or of the Lawless.

Incidentally, I refer to Trump’s “fat ass” deliberately. Some people have taken me to task for “fat-shaming” him. I’m not even sure what that means. To point out an obvious fact, such as the fact that Trump is morbidly obese, is simple reporting. It’s no different from saying Trump likes to wear long red or blue neckties. To candidly state that Trump is a fat person is not “shaming” him. I’m sure that Trump wishes he weren’t so fat. I bet that Melania wishes he’d lose 50 pounds. Trump hates having his photo taken when he’s golfing (which is most of the time) because they camera always seems to catch him from the rear. Trump has no “good side” in photographs, but surely, his gigantic buttocks are one of his worst aspects. This wouldn’t be worth noting if Trump weren’t such a megalomaniac. He thinks he’s God’s gift to everything, and in his purblind eyes, he probably sees himself as the hot young guy who used to hang out at Studio 54 with Roy Cohn. Trump may actually have been a decent-looking guy 40 years ago, but he lost his looks as he gained weight, and the jowls and facial puffiness that have always marred the heads of the various Trumps have added to his generally unattractive demeanor.

Anyway, it’s going to be hot today, and Gus is already wiped out: anything above 75 degrees hits him hard, with his long, black fur coat. So I think I’ll let him rest today and not do anything strenuous. Myself, I’ll take my usual 3-1/2 mile walk around the Lake, maybe grab a cappuccino and chocolate cookie someplace, and bring my iPod. If you see an old dude wearing a red face mask doing dance moves out there by the Lake, it’s me, with Brown Sugar blasting in my ears.

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