Once again, there is not One Ring to bind them, but actually a bunch of littler, shittier rings, and these are those less valuable rings — or, rather, think of this as not one blog post, but a bunch of baby blog posts running around, arms flailing, snot bubbles on their ruddy little noses. Hmm, are they baby blog posts, or just mega-tweets? I’ve no idea. Let’s do this.
It’s weird having a president who is literally the least most intellectual person on the planet. Further, one for whom you are required to give your kids warnings about. This isn’t new for him, but it’s a continuing tradition of us having to sit down with our child and give him the frank assessment of what the president said, and why you shouldn’t trust the president. Our kid is going to grow up utterly distrusting the government, which is arguably the whole point of King Dump in the first place. So, it requires the nuanced conversation of, no, the government is not implicitly broken, but a lot of things are and we have to do our best to vote and shore up social systems and education and — and the kid is eight-years-old, he doesn’t know what the fuck is up. But he damn sure knows not to drink bleach or try to eat a tanning bed or whatever the fuck that corrupt criminal dipshit was talking about. God, what the fuck. [Edit: now King Dump says he was just being sarcastic. Ah, the classic “NUH-UH” defense of your average six-year-old. “I MEANT TO PEE MY PANTS.”)
It’s still daily where I have a moment like, wow, this is really our reality. Not just the pandemic. But all of it. All of it. And it never gets old — in the worst way. It feels fresh in its dire dumbassery.
I’ve been saying “Jesus Fucking Christ” a lot more. I’m sure that’s blasphemous in some circles, but I’m of a mind that Jesus is also saying Jesus Fucking Christ a lot more these days.
There are other variants, of course. Christ on a pogo stick, Christ on a carousel, Christ on a cookie, Christ in a crab trap, Jesus Christ on crutches, etc. etc. Get creative with your blasphemy.
All right, onto some happier shit. I miss my mother since she died. Wait, that’s not happier, is it? Whatever, shut up. I’m just saying, normally I’d be calling her to check in, and we moved specifically to be closer to her — just in time for her to pass away. And it was my birthday this week, the first since she’s been gone, and I half-expected a phone call from her. And mother’s day is coming up, too. So it’s hard. Hard also being “The Adult” now — like, okay, I have a kid, a house, a car, a wife, a “””job”””, so I’ve been a functioning adult for a while. But when you lose both your parents, you really start to feel like, this is it, you’re all there is now. No one to call for advice, no more guide rope, no more training wheels, or even a chance at training wheels. That’s not the sad-making part, but it’s occasionally jarring.
Though, awfully, I’m also glad now she’s not here. My mother a couple-few years ago was almost killed my a common cold. A bad cold, but a cold. Because her lungs were not in good shape. (Don’t smoke, kids.) And it really almost killed her. So now, if she were around, she’d be an A+ target for the virus, and worse, if she were going through the cancer right now, oof. Could we see her? Should she see us? How would hospice have worked? I don’t even know, and I’m glad I don’t have to find out. (She also would’ve bristled at the lockdown — less about going out, because she was pretty locked down already, but more at her inability to see family or friends.)
Okay, happy shit for real in 3, 2, 1. My son made me an owl for my birthday, so that was rad. My wife made me a cheesecake that is literally the best cheesecake I’ve ever had, and also her first cheesecake. I have joined the ranks of the sourdough starter crowd, about seven days in and it’s getting effervescent, though I won’t bore you with its diary or anything. (Its name is Steve, though.) I’m about halfway through edits on this secret book, and I think I like it? It’s something very different for me. I’m reading a book about Johnny Appleseed and it’s fascinating. I’m reading Lauren Beukes’ newest and I’m having a hard time reading fiction at all, but her book is incredibly good, as her books always are, for me. Reading some Calvin & Hobbes too these days. Yeah.
We’re good here. “Good.” Some version of good. Definitely lucky, definitely fortunate. I try to keep reminding myself of that while also trying to not force myself into willful rigor-mortis glee over it — like, trying to walk that line between “recognize our fortune and privilege” and also “but it’s okay to feel like this sucks sometimes.”
Some people are not social distancing, but think they are. Sometimes you talk to people and they’re like, ugh oh my god social distancing is hard, this week I could only go to four grocery stores and get my hair cut and take my kids to their friends’ house once and — and holy shit you’re not supposed to be doing most of that. Stay in your goddamn houses. (For the record, this is not an admonishment against people who have things to do, or jobs to do, or groceries to buy, or whatever. It’s people who are defying the lockdown to do what are effectively frivolous bullshit things.)
I’m thinking vaguely maybe kinda sorta of getting a gaming PC. Part of it is simply that I really wanna play Half Life: Alyx, and I have the Oculus Quest, but can only play it if I get a VR-ready PC rig to pass-through to. It’s a stupid idea. I have other shit to do. But it tantalizes.
Time is weird now. Mornings zip by. Afternoons happen before I realize the morning has already eaten its own tail, a temporal ouroboros. A slow-moving, melty maelstrom.
I’ve long said that birds help me. Er, I don’t mean help me — as in, help me get dressed, help me find my glasses. I just mean, they help me cope. I go outside, listen to birds, and it’s nice. But now I have an indoor version of birds helping me to cope — Wingspan. A beautiful game about letting birds settle into various habitats. It’s not hyper-competitive and it’s quite lovely.
Exquisite Corpse is a fun game about collaborative storytelling. And Penguin Random House has put one together today with a whole buncha cool author types like Sarah Pinsker, Kevin Hearne, Charles Yu, Samantha Irby, and more. I kicked it off this morning with this tweet, so go follow the tale of Imogen and the Blue Door.
And I think that’s it.
Here are some photos.