Tuesday morning thinkytimes

No particular theme for today, as there are a number of things on my mind and none of them quite rise to the level of an entire post. So expect a bit of randomness. Good morning!


I had a LASIK initial conference almost exactly two years ago, and holy shit does the post I’m linking to entertain the crap out of me, and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I think it’s something I can actually afford to do. The only question is whether it’s a good use for my money right now; part of me thinks right now is a really good time because I was thinking about switching to contact lenses anyway to keep my glasses from fogging up every time I wear a mask– if I’m heading into a situation this fall where I have to be wearing one all day, and it’s already summertime so I have time to recover, it seems like a good decision. Then again, it’s a good chunk of my existing money, and who knows what kind of bullshit could happen that could lead to me needing it for something else.

If you have any experiences with LASIK, good or bad, let me know– most of the folks I’ve talked to have told me to go for it, but still.


I had to have a talk with the boy the other day where I pointed out that it’s okay to feel like certain things in our house have gotten easier and/or better since Mizu died. I do not miss, for example, having a litter box in my Goddamned bedroom because she didn’t want to leave the room, and the fact that we no longer have to worry about the other cats bothering her means we can leave doors open in our house and don’t have to worry about ever chasing kittens out from under our bed.

Sushi, for her part, has been rather hilarious lately, as she’s been spending most of her time in our room but still doesn’t seem quite convinced that she’s allowed in there, so whenever either of us come into the bedroom she acts like she’s about to be kicked out of the room. She’ll sleep on the bed with us from time to time but sticks herself in the far corner where we’re not super likely to notice her.


I have to admit, I had a bunch of ideas for how the person in the White House’s little Klan rally was going to go last weekend, but “no one shows up” was not among them. I spent all of 2016 assuming this man was going to lose badly and we all know how that went, so I’m not letting my guard down here, but if he can’t fill a mid-sized arena in Oklahoma, pandemic or not, something’s going on.

In other news, there are two primaries I’m keeping a close eye on today– Qasim Rashid’s Democratic House primary in VA-01 and the Democratic Senate primary in Kentucky. Kentucky looks like it’s going to be a trash fire, and I’ve not seen any polling on either race, but I’d like to start sending money to someone to get Mitch McConnell the fuck out of office and I’m not going to do it until the primary is over. I’ve donated a fair amount of money to Qasim already because I thought he had gotten out of the primary– I just found out a couple of weeks ago that I was wrong about that– so hopefully he wins today as well.

Also, no force on Earth can make me pay for John Bolton’s book, nor will I read it were I to somehow acquire it for free. I don’t need any further evidence on whether this man is a criminal or not.


Bike/health update: I have, somehow, lost seven pounds already; every time I start any sort of lifestyle change there’s always a quick burst of weight loss right at the beginning, and it’s happened again. Weight Watchers continues to confuse the hell out of me. I have not touched the bike in several days, because the last time I was on it I noticed that the gear the chain was on and the actual gear shown on the gearshift didn’t match … like, at all, and since I’d already switched gears at least once by accident without realizing it I’m going to just take the thing into a shop and have them swap it out, possibly taking the derailleur with it as well. I’ve already fallen off once and I’m not about to do it again, damn it. I suspect this is probably something I could do myself but finding out I was wrong would hurt and we’ve already got one adult in the house with a broken bone.

Pseudo-vegetarianism is going predictably well, although we did have enchiladas for dinner on Saturday and I finished off some turkey we had in the fridge to keep it from going bad. Most of this week’s dinners are going to be plant-based, so we’re continuing it for a bit longer than usual.


Vidya gaemz update: my plan to watch a YouTuber play through The Last of Us 2 appears to have been a good call, as so far nothing about the first few hours of the game have made me think I needed to play it. One thing I hadn’t anticipated is that lingering Dad feelings toward Ellie are still making it difficult to watch her die, and yeah, I don’t really need that shit for an entire game. Watching people react to the game has been really interesting; I’ve never seen a game where so many people looked at the level of violence and went “Nope, not right now” before.

In the meantime, I’ve been having a good time with Desperados 3, despite my lingering suspicion that Desperados is spelled wrong. The interesting thing is that it’s also a really murdery game– hell, so was Nioh 2, and so are most video games, frankly– but it’s all about the way it’s murdery, and it doesn’t go out of its way to make you feel bad about what the game is making you do.

The dialogue around this whole issue has also put the “Are video games art?” question to bed, permanently. The answer is yes.


I feel like I had one more thing, so let’s say this space is reserved for that. As is typical with these sorts of posts, I may update once or twice more as the day drags on.


11:18 AM, Tuesday, June 23: 2,313,445 confirmed infections and 120,451 Americans dead, and Texas is starting to run out of ICU beds.

Mizu, 1998-2020

Mizu, frequently referred to here as the Great Old One, decided last week that eating wasn’t something she was especially interested in any longer, and I bowed to necessity and had to have her put to sleep yesterday afternoon. I got her right after starting graduate school in 1998; she was a kitten, having been born (in Japan, believe it or not) in March; I probably got her in September or October. She was 22 years old, was the first pet who was really mine, and has been with me for my entire adult life.

Despite how I usually react to these things, I’m finding that I don’t really want to talk about this one. I’m having a very hard time with this. I hope everyone understands.

Kitty!

Spent today mowing and reading; this lazy bastard spent today laying on my wife. I think my favorite thing about him is that black ring around his neck; it goes all the way around, and if we ever decide to have his head mounted on a wall or turn him into some sort of futuristic head-mounted-on-a-hovering-robot-body cat we have a perfect place to start.


9:02 PM, Saturday May 30: 1,769,776 confirmed cases and 103,768 Americans dead.

In which I need a gas mask

A true fact about this cat, who suddenly figured out laps this afternoon and spent about an hour cuddling with the boy, who has been home sick from school for a couple of days: his shit stinks worse than the shit of any other pet, of any species, that I have ever had, and it not only fucks up huge chunks of my house to the point where I feel like we’re going to have to renovate our HVAC system to provide for greater air movement where we’ve got the litter boxes, it clings to him afterwards for a while, so if he uses the litterbox and then runs into the living room to demand scritches you will be able to tell where he has been. It is monstrous and terrifying and we are well beyond the point where I can chalk it up to him having been an outdoor cat and eating rats to stay alive. Dude’s been in the house for like two months now, there ain’t nothing in there but kibble and Fancy Feast. The other cats don’t stink like this. Not even close.

(The other cats are also female? I’m not sure if that matters. He’s fixed, at any rate.)


Today was the first day of this semester that I would characterize as a bad day. Not, like, by historical standards, or anything like that, and I mean a bad teaching day, as opposed to a bad my-mom-just-died-and-I’m-fucked-up-about-it day, but it’s actually surprisingly good news that it took this long. That’s all I have to say about it; there aren’t any interesting stories, really, but I thought I’d mention it.


In other news, in addition to fantasizing about writing another book (a short story! a microfiction! Fucking anything!) at some point in the future and fantasizing about eventually doing a podcast, a desire I have had for a couple of years now without the slightest inkling of a good idea for a podcast crossing through my brain, I have now decided that I want to do Let’s Plays for YouTube. I will never do this; to do it the way I want (discrete episodes, not livestreaming) requires far too much investment into equipment– I am fairly certain I’d need an entire new computer, for starters, because I don’t think there’s a good way to do video capture through my iMac, although I could be wrong– and frankly there is absolutely no demand for 43-year-old video game streamers. So I’m not going to do this, but it’s fun to toss it on the pile of other random creative bullshit that I’m not working on and watch it fester.

Meanwhile, I’m playing through Nioh again, because my career as a YouTuber should definitely start with games from four years ago, right?

Sure.

In which this is what I’ve become

Apparently this four-level monstrosity that I just spent 45 minutes putting together is the next step once three cats are the only pets in the house. I used to be a dog person, goddammit!

The little bastards are ignoring it, of course, as is their wont. We haven’t settled on a final place to put it; a giant cat tree is not the first thing I want people to see when I let them into my house.

I survived work today. I have to do it three more times. It should be possible.