Checking In

It’s kinda odd to think that we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic. I’ve been called back into work a couple times a week, and there’s a bit more life out there (I’m no longer getting Death Stranding vibes when I go outside),  and it sometimes looks like things are going back to normal. But the death toll in the US is still rising, and I haven’t left my apartment without a mask since April. Still a pandemic, especially here in the States.

And I’m still staying sane, somehow. Keeping myself busy, be it on a variety of different projects or video games (Borderlands 3 is a delight). But, all the same; it’s been six months since I’ve seen a lot of my friends in meatspace or gotten drinks in a bar.

Been a long time since I’ve seen a movie in the cinema. I was actually planning on going to see Onward the day before I started quarantine, but opted not to a couple hours before since, with Covid on the uptick, going to a theater in midtown Manhattan hardly seemed like the best idea. I did watch it later, as a download at home, but that makes it the first Pixar film I haven’t seen in theaters since 2002’s Monsters Inc. (that’s right, I saw everything from Finding Nemo up through Toy Story 4 in theaters, a feat I’m quite proud of). Breaking that streak’s a bummer, and I do hope Onward gets a rerelease in theaters when it’s, y’know, actually safe to go see it.

That said, I have seen a couple new movies at home, as they’ve come out. Palm Springs is a terrific riff on the time-loop narrative of Groundhog Day or Source Code that feels oddly prescient in a time when everything seems to be on a very weird loop. Bill & Ted Face The Music is a worthy successor to the prior films and amidst its very silly sense of humor has an incredibly warm undercurrent that made the original two so fun. It’s refreshing to watch a movie that’s just so darned nice. Of course, the movie’s also about music and doing a cool concert which, at present, seems almost as fantastical as the time-traveling phone booth. But hey, maybe one day.

As we close in on day 200 of quarantine — and it’s still a quarantine, even if places are reopening, we’re still in a pandemic — it’s odd how used to it all I’ve gotten. Board games can be played online, D&D is played online, parties aren’t a thing. I dunno, it’s all been A Thing that I’ve gotta quite tired of, due in no small part to the fact that This Thing could have been avoided (or at least abated) done properly, but instead, The Thing has been effectively allowed to do its thing and been compounded with a Variety of Other Things which has made it all Very Tiring. I think that’s why I have such an affinity for movies like Bill & Ted and Pacific Rim right now, the optimism and joy is a much-needed tonic to the everything else.

If this feels like a post about nothing, arguably it’s because it is. Maybe one day blog posts like these will be seen as a journal of an apocalypse, kinda like those audio diaries in Bioshock. Or maybe it’s just the rambling of someone who’s not much else to write about.

Or maybe I just oughta watch Scott Pilgrim this week.

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