Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Some Reactions To Some Entertainments

In the interest of actually updating once in a while, here's some media stuff I'm currently/recently into, and the slightly odd thought's I've been having about them:

  • I've been playing Undertale, the adorable game designed to make you feel like human garbage. (Why is it so hard not to kill things? WHY??!) I actually finished it once, but have started over again trying to do things differently, which apparently is what the game expects you to do if you actually want to not feel like human garbage. I cannot remotely decide whether this is brilliant and thematically deep, or just emotionally sadistic. Probably both.

  • I just finished watching The Wire, which does, indeed, live up to its reputation as a landmark piece of TV drama. And leaves one at the end with the impression that perhaps everyone is human garbage, made so by a crushing and inescapable human-garbage-producing system. (Well, all of us except maybe that one newspaper guy, anyway. And Bubbles, who is so darned likeable one can forgive him anything.) Honestly, I was eager to finally get through this show for sheer cultural literacy purposes, but now that I'm finished with it, I miss it already.

  • I've also been watching Community, which, mercifully, does not make me feel like human garbage, but which does make me wonder: How is it that tired, annoying sitcom plot points and cheesy, annoying sitcom morals-of-the-story suddenly become entertaining again if the show in question acknowledges, tacitly or explicitly, that that's what it's doing? I swear, part of me, watching this thing, is appreciating the show's ironic approach in a way that is itself ironic (because ironic meta is soooo last decade, amirite?), and it is at about this point that I start to wonder if our culture is about to disappear up its own navel, and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing or what. Eh, whatever. It make for an enjoyable half-hour of television, anyway.
  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016

    New Mexico In June: It Makes You Not Want To Be In New Mexico In June

    I still aten't dead. I've just 1) not had anything particularly interesting to say, and 2) not had lots of motivation or energy for blogging, or for much of anything else, for that matter. We've reached that inevitable stretch of triple-digit days here, the ones that leave you with the disturbing feeling that the sun is actively trying to kill you, and that rob you of your will to live, or at least of your will to do anything other than crank up the struggling A/C -- the swamp cooler can make it livable in my house, under conditions like these, but can't actually get it all the way to cool -- and lie on the sofa with a cold drink and a book. I have a to-do list as long as my arm, and I'm really hoping to get at least some of it done on my days off this week, but I don't think most of it is happening. The yard work, which would have to involve getting up very early to get it finished while the yard is still capable of sustaining human life, is almost certainly not going to get done. No matter how tall the weeds are getting.

    Of course, summer is also fire season here. I've already had one person who saw a story about fires in the southwest on the national news ask me about it, so, for the record, no, I'm not on fire, or in any obvious immediate danger of catching on fire. The Dog Head fire, which is the big fire you may have heard about, is considerably north of me. We have had one only a few miles away, though, which I did find a little too close for comfort. The giant, dark plume of smoke visible from here the first day that one was burning was certainly unpleasant to look at, not least because it covered a surprising amount of the northern horizon. It did destroy a couple of houses and some other buildings, which is awful. But I don't think it was in any real danger of coming this way, so the most I personally suffered was some lung irritation from the smoke.

    Honestly, fires are pretty much a fact of life in this part of the country at this time of the year. There's at least one right now that's being allowed to burn for the sake of the ecosystem, which evolved to expect a fire from time to time. It's when they encroach on human habitation that they make the news. And the Dog Head has done some terrible encroaching -- well, a couple dozen houses, but that's beyond terrible, if one of them happens to be yours. I think they have the worst of it under control now, though.

    Anyway. That's the status of things at the moment: I myself am fine, albeit lethargic, but the state I live in basically feels like some cruel child-god is holding a giant magnifying between us and the sun. But monsoon season should be here in earnest any minute. Admittedly, probably just in time to prevent my driveway work from being done, if my luck holds true. But given the state of things, I'm not sure I could even bring myself to complain.

    Monday, June 06, 2016

    I Aten't Dead! Have Some June Currentlies.

    Current clothes: A bathrobe. I just got out of the shower. Once I'm finished posting this, I'm going to go and put on... I dunno. Jeans and a t-shirt, like usual.

    Current mood: Not bad. A little slow-moving, in that heavy, slept-too-much kind of way. Which I've been doing a lot, lately. Maybe it's the summer weather. Sometimes my body just seems to decide it wants to estivate. Not that I'm complaining (or at least not much). Too much sleep is better than too little, especially when I'm on night shifts.

    Current music: Nothing, really.

    Current annoyance: The company that's going to redo my driveway has been taking a while to figure out exactly when they're going to be able to schedule the work. They just got back to me with "sometime in early July, exact date TBA." I hope they don't end up wanting to do it the week I'm on nights. Or that they'll at least let me know soon enough that I can arrange for someone to cover for me. I really don't want to work all night and come home to the sound of jackhammers outside my window.

    Current thing: I guess I have a couple of current things, other than sleep. I've started re-reading some of Pratchett's Discworld books, in between all the other books I have to read. Starting with the Death novels, because Death is awesome. The character, that is, of course, not the phenomenon. I'm also back on a little bit of a making-household-improvements kick. I've finally replaced a bunch of window screens that were shredded nearly to uselessness by time and cats, for example. Which is good, even if I am a bit annoyed with myself for accidentally ordering the wrong color frames.

    Current desktop picture: It's still the same Doctor Who picture I've had for ages now. I should probably stop pretending to myself I have any desire to change it.

    Current book: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold. Which is pleasant enough, I guess, but kind of dull. Never thought I'd say that about this particular series.

    Current song in head: Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time," ever since a few days ago, when I stumbled across this parody on the subject of entropy.

    Current refreshment: Nothing. But I'm thirsty. And maybe a little hungry.

    Current DVD in player: I just finished season 4 of The Wire. Which was amazing.

    Current happy thing: Looking at my work schedule for tonight, it looks like, unless something goes horribly wrong (which is always possible), it should be a nice, quiet night. I am very much in favor of nice, quiet nights.

    Current thought: Between the window screens and the driveway, my next household improvement project is going to have to be shopping for mattresses. Since it finally occurred to me that part of the reason why I wake up with an achy back far too often probably has to do with the fact that my mattress is 16 years old and saggy. This, I am not looking forward to.