First and foremost, let’s talk free ice cream. I said I was giving away some free Jeni’s ice cream contingent on a donation to the RERF (Restaurant Employee Relief Fund), and we had 26 people donate, each for $25 or more, meaning a $650+ contribution to the RERF. Thank you all! Winner of the free ice cream was Kim Nelson! YAY KIM.
Also, let’s get the self-promo out of the way early. Reminder: the Wanderers paperback is out tomorrow! I might pop up some places here and there to promote it. Like, in your bathroom mirror.
Where the fuck is Flick? Where the Flick is Fuck? What? Huh? Shut up. Yes, I’m still playing Animal Crossing and I have an island full of cool rare bugs and I haven’t seen that motherfucker Flick in like, three weeks. Is this important? No. Am I mad about it regardless? Yes.
I might have fresh strawberries this afternoon. I know, you’ve got a soul boner for this hard-hitting content I’m laying down. But hey, fresh strawberries are a true joy of spring, and seems like we might be getting some today. And I didn’t know if we’d see much by way of fresh berries this year. Though we did plant some blueberry bushes, even though blueberries are, by and large, a disappointing bullshit fruit that consists largely of fruit that tastes more like the ghost of blueberries than actual blueberries. And yes, someone will say, BUT THAT’S JUST THE SUPERMARKET VERSION, except I’ve also had some farm market local blueberries too and they were also just little Baron Harkonnens full of berry-scented water. I’ve had maybe two pints of blueberries that tasted like blueberries, were delicious, and required naught but popping them in your maw. The rest were merely purple sadness balloons.
So, wait, why plant blueberries, then? For the birds, duh.
Speaking of birds! Seen some new ones recently including — whoa, what, a cuckoo? A literal goddamn cuckoo? Yep. Cuckoo. Photo at the bottom of the page, plus some other finds.
We are told that everything will now change. The pandemic, the lockdown, it’s changed us, changed society, changed what we do going forward. And I’m sure it has, to some degree, but I suspect those degrees are small — weird chaotic cascades. We’re expecting a BIG SOCIETAL SHIFT, but… then you see people lining up for bars, and wanting to hop on the next cruise ship, and refusing to wear masks because MAH FREEDOMS or some horseshit. Maybe nothing will change. Maybe this is, as others have noted, more like the gun debate, where we simply accept a tithing of blood and flesh to some disturbed, distorted idea of personal liberty. Personal liberty and American exceptionalism, each throttling the health of the community, and by proxy, the health of the individuals in that community. Because, though cliched, it really does take a village. And when we value the individual over the village that raised them — well, that’s how shit gets fucked up.
I keep hearing about a vaccine in the fall, but how? I’d think that’s too fast, isn’t it? Not that I don’t want one. I do. But a rushed vaccine that either doesn’t work well or that has deleterious side-effects will only widen the reality gap between science and anti-vax propaganda. It’d arguably give them ammo to push for that anti-science agenda. I mean, again, I want the vaccine soon — but given that a 12 month turnaround time would already have been abnormally fast, what’s it mean if that timeline is halved again to six months? What gets lost?
Here’s a thing that happens. Whenever any new Star Wars property comes out, I get tagged in a lot of articles about Aftermath, often due to speculation or because I decided some portion of the post-OT canon. Which is fine! It’s nice, even. But then I get a series of people who assure me that they have the inside scoop that XYZ thing from the New Star Wars property is actually a thing from Aftermath. This is also fine! I don’t think it’s problematic or anything, I just mean to say, it’s never been true. Some little Aftermathy bits have crept in — the valachord reference in Solo, or the general sort of vibe of Palpatine’s end game in ROTS. Needless to say, I’m again hearing things about how XYZ in Mandalorian Season 2 is from my books and — all I’ll say is, I will caution you to not believe it. Generally things in SW don’t jump from print to screen; they go the opposite, from screen to print. Screen leads the way. It’s a giant connected canonical universe, yes, except all revolves around a single star, and that star is the film and TV properties. This is not a rendered judgment against it. It’s just… how it tends to work.
Rise of Skywalker hasn’t stuck with me. I really liked it when I saw it in the theater, but haven’t yet been able to sit through it all the way now that I have the home version. I tried. But it’s just kinda soggy to me at present. It feels really pacey, like someone impatient is behind it, snapping fingers and asking it to hurry the fuck up and just get it over with. It doesn’t take any time to breathe. I should try skipping to the second half, see if that helps. I recall the second half feeling more paced out, more drawn, more consequential. Hrm. But my kid hasn’t really cared much about it either, which surprised me. For him it’s mostly about The Mandalorian. (As a sidenote, this is about me and not about you, and whether you hate the movie or love it, it says nothing about you, nor your tastes, nor mine. We really need to get over the idea that our pop culture preferences — or even our general preferences at all — are in any way an assault on anyone else’s own feelings.)
We’re doing No-Mow May. Which is, like, the most wonderfully lazy way to support the environment. We just don’t mow. The front yard is getting leggy as hell, but seeing a lot of wildflowers pop up, and a lot of native pollinators. Already got bumbles bumbling, but also mining bees. And we have what I think is a huge sycamore maple which has these dangling scrotal blossoms on it, and they are COVERED in bees. And now we’re all imagining scrotums slathered in bees and I’m sorry, but also, I’m not that sorry.
Also planted some native plants. What did we get, let’s see — helianthus, phlox, blueberry, asters, bee balm, mountain mint, hazlenut, hyssop. Will get more as we can. Also have some actual veggies growing now: radishes, kale, snap peas, carrots. Put in some temporary beds too and will plant some more post-frost seeds.
Sorry, back to Star Wars. Damn, though, the Clone Wars final season was… aaaaghghrbrbble, so good. I honestly have a sort of sour gut feeling whenever I think of Star Wars these days (too much time in those trenches, I guess), but this was a hump I didn’t have a hard time getting over. Honestly, feel how you feel about the prequels — but TCW series and even Rebels truly contextualize the prequels in a meaningful way. One thing that’s interesting to me is that the character of Anakin in the films and the character of Anakin in TCW are… pretty different. TCW is a more confident, subtle version of Anakin, one whose fall feels more natural — and one who, I think, you like more. It’s interesting to see that divergence, and ponder if it’s just a stylistic authorial choice or a willful kind of course correction.
That’s it, I think. Photos, and see you tomorrow.