Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm


What’s your price for flight?

In finding mister right

You’ll be all right tonight …

Some days, you just don’t have it—and for me, today was one of those days. I had a long list of things to do, and … well, most of them didn’t happen.

On days like this during “normal” times, there are a handful of things I know I can do to get my head into a happier, more-productive frame of mind. Watching or listening to baseball, for example. A quick dip in the apartment hot tub helps. For some reason, a quick Aldi run does the trick. Yes, I am weird: Grocery shopping normally clears my head.

But … there’s no baseball. The apartment hot tub is closed, per state orders. And grocery shopping is daunting these days, and should only be done when absolutely necessary.

So, bleh.

Because many of my usual mental-reset techniques aren’t available, I’ve been seeking new ones … and I think I’ve found one: cheesy ’80s music.

Hey, don’t judge. We’re all just makin’ do here, OK?

In all seriousness: As embarrassed as I am to admit it, the ’80s on 8 channel on Sirius/XM saved my butt today, productivity-wise. The catchy sounds of songs like “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger, for some reason, help.

I know I am not the only one out there who had an off today. If you’re in the same boat … hang in there. We all have off days, even in good times … and they’re usually followed by better days, even in not-so-good times. Right?

Here are today’s links—and there is a whole lotta info here:

I was again a guest on the I Love Gay Palm Springs Podcast today. I joined the usual hosts to talk to the amazing Dr. Laura Rush, as well as Daniel Vaillancourt—who has a daunting tale of going through the COVID-19 test process—and mask-maker Clay Sales.

• The new small-business-loan program that was passed as start of the stimulus package? Well, it’s a mess—so much so that some banks are refusing to start accepting applications until things get clarified.

• First there was a problem with an accessibility of COVID-19 tests (and there is still a big problem). Now there are increasing concerns about their accuracy, according to The Wall Street Journal.

• Now after that shitty news, take solace in the fact that serious progress is being made in developing a vaccine—faster than has ever been done before.

• The New York Times, using cellphone location data, has made a fascinating map showing which parts of the country have been staying home, and which parts have not.

• Eisenhower Health brings us this short hand-washing demonstration.

• Due to the coronavirus and resulting blood shortages, the FDA has made its restrictions on gay men donating blood slightly less stupid.

• The Conversation explains in detail how plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may help treat people suffering from it.

• The Los Angeles Times tells the story of another group of people who are risking their safety by working through the pandemic: farmworkers.

• Cactus Hugs’ Casey Dolan speaks for all of us when he kindly requests that other people stay the hell away.

• Hey, fellow Dodgers fans: You can work out virtually with head trainer Brandon McDaniel twice a week

• A whole bunch of journalism professors have written to Rupert Murdoch, asking him to make his Fox News Channel stop spreading coronavirus misinformation.

• Time magazine looked at newspaper ads from the last pandemic, and they prove that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

• Bill Gates offers up his thoughts on what we can do to make up for lost time in quashing this pandemic.

• If you didn’t set up direct deposit with the feds for your tax refunds, it may take a while for your stimulus checks to arrive.

• Have time on your hands? Wanna learn an instrument? Well, Fender is offering free guitar, bass and ukulele lessons during the pandemic to 100,000 people.

• You know some of those “ventilators” Elon Musk donated to the cause? Well, they’re actually CPAP machines. Sigh.

• The fantastic folks at Rooster and the Pig are offering anyone who needs it with a free lunch.

• Greater Palm Springs’ Anndee Laskoe offers up this trip to some fantastic local places you can take from your couch.

• And finally, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark—you remember her, right?—offers us this important message from “Elvirus.”

If you value what we do, and can afford it, please support independent local journalism by becoming a Supporter of the Independent. Also: If you’re so inclined, get mail delivery of our print edition here.

Stay safe. Hang in there. Wash your hands. More tomorrow.

Published in Daily Digest

When people from out of state or other countries hear the term "Coachella Valley," they usually think of Palm Springs as its most relevant community. That outdated perception has been perpetuated for decades, going back to Hollywood's golden years, when movie stars came here to vacation, making our desert an exclusive getaway.

While local officials are trying to bring back some of the energy for which Palm Springs was once famous, the east valley has continued expanding, and in some ways is now considered a new hot spot.

Most outsiders don't realize there are nine separate cities that constitute the Coachella Valley. Several attempts have been made over the years to consolidate these individual entities, all without success. Our valley is made up of Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, Coachella and Desert Hot Springs. Some people feel that having so many cities in such close proximity, each with their own distinct rules and regulations, contributes to a lack of cohesiveness.

If a proposal succeeded to unite all of these cities, residents of the Coachella Valley would be able to co-exist under the same jurisdiction. This action would mandate a name change, and there's only one name that would be easy for people to remember: Rancho Laquindiothedral Hotsprindianwellschella Palmirage Desert.

The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau would also be able to change their name to the Rancho Laquindiothedral Hotsprindianwellschella Palmirage Desert Convention and Visitors Bureau. Just think of how simple it would be to call information. When the operator says, "What city, please?" instead of saying, "Indio," the caller can say the all-encompassing name.

It wouldn't be long before the new name becomes part of popular culture. For example, when doing a crossword puzzle, you might see a clue that says, "60-letter word for a city in the Southern California desert."

Even spelling bees would find themselves testing contestants on our new city name. It would be common to hear a student ask, "Can you use it in a sentence?" or "What is the origin of the word?" as the moderator tries to pronounce it.

Once the new name is approved, efforts could be made to promote it. We can take a cue from Hollywood, where the famous Hollywood sign remains a landmark to this day. Hundreds of construction workers would have the task of hauling each letter up to the top of our local mountains, where the full city name would span several miles. Of course, the sign would also be visible from the newly renamed Rancho Laquindiothedral Hotsprindianwellschella Palmirage Desert Aerial Tramway.

You may have noticed that there are two names missing from this discussion. Thousand Palms and Bermuda Dunes are two unincorporated communities here in the Coachella Valley. Thousand Palms has been in the news recently, as Cathedral City has been trying to annex its land. Cathedral City's City Council has created a subcommittee to study an annexation effort, which would include 9,700 acres of land and its 7,000 residents.

However, the real issue is equality. Why should nearby Twentynine Palms only have 29, when Thousand Palms has 1,000? Thousand Palms should give half of its trees to Twentynine Palms and be renamed 500 Palms, while 29 Palms would be renamed 529 Palms.

Concerning Bermuda Dunes, the unincorporated community should have an annual short-film festival, where the attendees could wear Bermuda shorts. This festival would compete with the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, which would be renamed … well, you get the idea.

I have to admit: It is a little tedious writing the entire name of our new city. That's where nicknames can come in handy. For example, some people call Cathedral City "Cat City." That's an interesting abbreviation, as an argument could be made that Cathedral City is going to the dogs.

That's why there should be a contest encouraging residents to come up with a shortened version of our new city name. As an incentive, Cathedral City’s City Council could do what it does best, and present the winner with gift cards purchased with a city credit card.

Still, when you’re watching a game show with a clue for Rancho Laquindiothedral Hotsprindianwellschella Palmirage Desert, you could be proud you live in a city with a name that's both historical and hysterical. I'd like to buy a vowel, please.

Published in Humor